Scott Pruitt publicly shamed at a restaurant

I despise Scott Pruitt, for as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he’s enacting odious policies that despoil the environment; he rejects the fact of anthropogenic climate change; and he’s been charged with misspending government money and other dereliction of duty. He’s about the worst possible person to hold his job. Under Pruitt, the agency should be renamed the Environmental Destruction Agency.

Still, doesn’t the man have a right to eat in peace in a restaurant? In this video, a woman confronts Pruitt and his companion and reads out a laundry list of his misdeeds. As Politico reports:

Another member of President Trump’s administration was confronted by a member of the public, this time in a tea shop in Washington, D.C.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt was having lunch at Teaism on Monday when a woman confronted him and urged him to resign.

In a video posted to Facebook Monday, Kristin Mink is seen introducing her toddler son to Pruitt and telling him to resign. Occasionally appearing to refer to notes and speaking calmly, she cites his actions on water and air quality protection and tells him his policies have benefitted corporations over the environment.

“This is my son. He loves animals, he loves clean air, he loves clean water,” Mink said in the video to Pruitt and his lunch companion.

“We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment. Somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children,” she said.

“I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out,” she says before the video ends.

Although the video does not show it, Mink said in her video that Pruitt quickly left the restaurant after she confronted him.

[JAC: Pruitt’s office says he listens respectfully, which seems to be the case, and that he left because he finished his meal.]

The thing is, I agree completely with her views—just not with her tactics. Again, while this woman has every right to write to Pruitt, engage in demonstrations, make appointments at the EPA, lobby them, and do everything she can to bring Pruitt down—and surely has the legal right to encounter him this way—I don’t think this tactic is useful. It won’t change his mind; it won’t change the mind of centrists, and it makes the Left look petty.  Can we just leave these people to go out in public in peace without harassing them?

Apparently not to some Control-Leftists. P. Z. Myers, for instance, posted that video and gleefully approved of the confrontation:

Polite, honest, and accurate. She didn’t punch him, throw his table over, or kick him in the balls, even though he deserves all of that. It was an effective protest.

If you see one of Trump’s lackeys in public, and you don’t lean over and tell them, “Resign!”, you aren’t as brave as Kristin Mink.

Make ’em cringe a bit when they’re out in public. It’s the least you can do.

Really? Now he deserves to be kicked in the balls, too? (That, of course, is illegal.)

 

477 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Another thing to tell this lady is vote. That is how you make changes. Get the stupid person who put him in office out. As you say, harassing him at a public place won’t get it. Get all of the republicans in congress out – they are the ones refusing to take action on this low life.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      There is little doubt, at least in my mind, that this lady is a voter.

      • mikeyc
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        No doubt she is and she just inspired more Trump voters, all while degrading any remaining sense of decency in public life here in America.

        bravo /s

        • GBJames
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Srsly? You think THIS is what motivates an increase in Trump support?

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Agree. I think this gives liberals inspiration (if anything) and doesn’t do a thing to create some sort of liberal backlash that will help Trump. Especially when the confrontation is peaceful.

            • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

              Well, we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            +1

          • mikeyc
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            Actually no. I was focusing on the second part of my comment – the loss of public decency.

            • Lynn Wilhelm
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

              But we focused on another part of your comment. It’s best not to write/say things you don’t want others to notice.

              • mikeyc
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I suppose it is. Which is why I stupidly keep commenting here.

              • Diane G
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

                No worries, mikeyc, I concur with parts.

        • darrelle
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          I really don’t see any significant lack of decency on this woman’s part. Circumstances matter. This isn’t an any-person example. This is a high level public servant who is doing awful things on behalf of the public. A member of the public taking a few minutes to respectfully give him some criticism in a restaurant is not remotely indecent in my opinion.

          Regarding inspiring Trump voters, I don’t think this is a good argument. Anything anyone not a Trumpster does will inspire Trump voters. Also, what about inspiring people to vote against Trump and his ideological ilk?

          • mikeyc
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            I guess my point is – we should choose our battles carefully. I believe this kind of tactic is counter productive because the very same tactic will be in future used by her (our) opponents. It is a race to the bottom. And there is no bottom.

            • Mark R.
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

              This was a well chosen battle. Pruitt is hugely unpopular by the left and right…a 29% approval rating. He’s a complete crony and hack and everyone knows it. This is not a race to the bottom.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:29 am | Permalink

                Tell us what it achieved then.

              • Deni Pisani
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:27 am | Permalink

                The general tenor seems to be as per this comment in this thread: “This was a well chosen battle. Pruitt is hugely unpopular by the left and right…a 29% approval rating. He’s a complete crony and hack and everyone knows it. This is not a race to the bottom.”
                But again, justification based on who you agree with. I loathe the guy. This means he should never be able to show his face anywhere without being accosted? He was on his own here, but what if he is with his family? What if he is suffering depression? What if he just lost someone close to him? THIS is why we separate our outrage with personal attacks. There are many ways to vent your spleen. Ones that actually work.
                Oh, but maybe they won’t get the virtue signalling views of this method. Bet you that all future examples of this accosting are ALL caught on camera.
                Is it limited to politicians? Can we harangue all the people that we ‘pay their wages’ (god, how I hate that trope). Shall I accost the young policeman at the burger joint and give him an earful about law and order? Shall I harangue the local councilperson who championed LGBTIQ rights and tell him he is ruining the future of children, shall I hold the returned soldier to account at the grocery store and tell him he is a warmonger who is promoting war and killing innocent civilians?
                I assume the response is that there are limits, and only people who are decision makers, and only…(insert appropriate limiting conditions – that suit your sensibilities).
                And finally…it’s not in me to accost someone like this. Imagine if YOU were accosted like this. Imagine if it became impossible to go out (with your family) for fear of this. What if this had a deleterious effect on the person and their family. How could I justify that? When I know there are other ways to effect change.

                I really have to write shorter comments.
                Sorry(But feel free to accost me and harangue me next time you see me. I deserve it.)

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

              I agree. It’s counter-productive. And the last thing that needs to happen is for someone as ethically bankrupt as Pruitt to be in a position to claim martyr status. Until this happened no one, even on the right, had the slightest bit of sympathy for Pruitt. Now he’ll have people speaking up for him.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

                Yes, if anyone thinks this is a person that can be shamed, that is even funny. If you tied him up in public and hung signs on him it would not shame him. He would just get on his first class airplane ride and go spill some more oil somewhere.

              • Diane G
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

                I also agree. This borders on the tactics of the Ctrl-left: interrupting, delivering screeds, disturbing the peace…

              • Mark R.
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

                He already has plenty of people speaking up for him, including POtUS…always has, really.

                Read the hundreds of comments here and decide for yourself if this type of interaction is “counter-productive”. It’s about 50/50 as I see it here. And I know many of the readers (like you) don’t have a vote.

                This was an act of bravery. We need to be brave in the face of overwhelming vehemence.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                I agree she was brave, and it’s good she did it with civility, which is a big point in her favour. I can also see the argument from the other side, which, because of the excellent way she conducted herself, definitely works in this case.

                I also get that not having a vote counts against me. At the same time, I wonder if those of us on the outside can see the problems in a way that’s impossible from the inside.

                I think that the appalling lack of ethics, constant lies, blatant abuse of power, and more, is going to destroy the GOP. At the moment things like this brave act by this woman is being held up by the GOP as an excuse for their own transgressions. There’s a lot of whataboutery coming from them (which, of course, is almost all false equivalence), and making up of stuff to make the Democrats look just as bad or worse. A recent example is the right trying to connect the prominent paedophile arrest to the Dems.

                At the moment it seems hard to imagine, but at some point I believe there will be a tipping point where what the Trump administration is getting up to will become too much. I believe that point will come sooner the more the Dems can stay on the moral high ground. People will be looking for somewhere to go and if they can come to recognize the false equivalence of the whataboutery, they’re more likely to go to a big tent Democratic party. That relies on a party that remains capable of embracing a wide range of people, including centrist conservatives.

              • Diane G
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

                Heather, thanks for that analysis. I wholeheartedly agree. I only wish the Democrats were still as gung ho for the big tent as they used to be.

              • Mark R.
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

                vehemence…sorry not the right word. I’m going away now though.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

              “the very same tactic will be in future used by her (our) opponents”

              If you don’t think far more offensive tactics haven’t been used by “the other side” for decades then I don’t think you’ve been paying attention.

            • Lynn Wilhelm
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

              Yes and when that tactic is used to confront people that use facts and reason to make policy those people should be able to respond appropriately to the confrontation.

              The reason Trump’s people get so upset is because they often do not have facts and reason to back up their policies or claims. It’s a lot like the way many creationists respond when confronted with facts and reason.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            After the harassment of Sanders and Niellsen, and Waters’ Gillibrand’s idiotic statements, this was – regardless how calmly delivered — bad timing and only added fuel to the fire.

            It will result in not a single net vote gained for the Dems, and probably the opposite.

            • Mark R.
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

              This will be forgotten in a day or so.

          • Christopher
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            I agree. I see what she did as fair considering he is a public official and someone who is appointed not elected (yes, I know, we elect the people who appoint people in his position). Now, would it have been better if she had done this as he prepared to exit the restaurant? Yes, but only a bit better. A public office-holder in a public place must be prepared to engage the public, be it a supporter or opponent. It is a question of when exactly the engagement should happen, not that it should or should not have happened. Like fame, there is a price to pay for public service.
            I cannot believe, assuming there is anyone left in this country who is actually undecideds about tRump, that this could have any bearing on public opinion for or against Pruitt or the republicans.

        • Helen Hollis
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:35 am | Permalink

          Don’t think she inspired more Trump voters.
          Do think that she degraded any sense of decency with her actions.
          Her words were fine, but she needed to know them and not read them from her phone.
          Know your position. Because your opponent knows yours (you should assume they do)

        • Posted July 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          I agree that these things are likely to inspire more Trump voters.

  2. Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Ah yes, peacenik PZ Myers, who once threatened to throw me off a pier.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Myers strikes me as the kind of keyboard warrior who lacks the intestinal fortitude to take any action in real life. I strongly doubt he’d even do what Kristin Mink did.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        All bark, no bite. The idea of him venturing to toss this cowboy, much less succeeding, is laughable.

        Nevertheless, Myers’ frequent fantasies about confrontation & violence, whether it’s shanking christians or shooting priests or sodomizing interlocutors with rotting porcupines, is deeply disturbing.

        • BJ
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          “Nevertheless, Myers’ frequent fantasies about confrontation & violence…”

          It’s been quite striking over the years. His consistent fantasies about doing violence to everyone he dislikes betrays a raging hatred and self-righteousness, but also a feeling of pathetic helplessness and shame at his utter lack of bravery. He’s like a child who dreams all day of beating up the school bully, but nary a peep ever escapes his mouth when he encounters him.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Since he to this day still seethes about the bullies of his childhood, that all makes sense.

      • Posted July 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        When he praised punching Nazis, didn’t any of his readers dare him to go out and actually punch one?

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      It’s been a long time since I responded to the PZ bashing here.
      But Jerry really goes over the top here. PZ is not advocating anyone kick Pruitt in the balls, he’s merely saying he deserves it. PZ’s writing style is often more colorful than Jerry’s but I’ve never seen him actually condone violence. I know that Jerry and PZ don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things these days, but both of you have really great things to say. (I read Jerry’s posts and comments here much more often than I do PZ’s, but I hate to see either of you condemn the other.)

      Matt, I don’t recall the specific incident between you and PZ, but I’ve seen a lot of the things he’s said over the years taken way out of context.

      • Simon
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Oh poor PZ. The man is consistently dishonest about people he dislikes and completely and utterly immune to correction about it unless self-interest is involved. His online presence is not “colourful”, it is often just plain bitter, deceitful and nasty. His lack of self-awareness is mind-blowing.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        The fact that PZ Myers believes people should be physically assaulted for their views does not make him unique among the regressive left, but it is consistent with his decade-long pattern of violence-laden rhetoric.

        But by all means, please explain the context of Myers’ threat, presumably in response to my jesting suggestion that I might like to accept his open invitation to an atheists’ get-together: “Don’t show up to pick a fight or we’ll pitch you off a pier.” (“Relaxing in Seattle”).

        Please explain the context of Myers’ warning to potential proselytizing Christians: <i<“you try to pull that prayer-and-conversion shit on me, I’m going to stab you." (“Cause to Celebrate!”)

        Or his threat, “if ever … I were to meet the pope, I’d have to punch him for provoking me…”. (“A Papal Conundrum”)

        Myers has indeed condoned numerous violent threats by his commenters, including wishes that opponents “die in a fire” or be raped, and including one threat to mutilate someone with broken glass.

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Matt, I’m afraid I gave you way too much credit. He didn’t threaten to pitch YOU off a pier- and it’s pretty clear that statement was metaphorical.

          Your second example is equally ridiculous. PZ’s commenting on that execrable ‘God is not Dead’ movie and referring to the salvation scene at the end. He describes an extremely unlikely situation for stabbing someone;
          I’ve got to start carrying a knife now. Just so all you Christians know, if I’m in a fatal accident, and I’m lying in the street dying, and you’re not running over to stop the bleeding or otherwise physically help me, and you try to pull that prayer-and-conversion shit on me, I’m going to stab you. I’ll have nothing to lose, and you sure as hell don’t deserve to continue living. I don’t like violence, but I will make an exception for this one possible circumstance.

          Finally PZ’s pope comment was in response to the pope’s statement that he’d punch someone who swore at his mother, which was followed directly by this: “Wait. No. Fuck the pope. I’m going to reject his principles and refuse to punch him.”

          Your quote mining attempts are truly shameful. I actually thought you had serious beefs with PZ, maybe a personal attack or something, but as with most of the vitriol against him here, your claims are hollow. Don’t like his writing style, dislike his feminist or other social justice leanings? Fine, don’t read his blog. But it’s extremely rude to disparage him on another forum, especially when doing it speciously.

          You got your chance to explain your claims about PZ, and as far as I’m concerned, you failed to support your position. In future, I’ll have a hard time believing anything you say about him (fool me once…).

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            I provided the titles of the posts from which those quotes came from, and in the past have quoted more extensively where appropriate. Your accusation of ‘quote-mining’ is off-mark.

            A violence-laden quote from Myers was featured in the OP, so providing further examples here is entirely appropriate.

            You absolve Myers because in your opinion, his violent and hateful speech is merely “rhetorical”. As others have noted, PZ doesn’t have the balls to kick someone in the balls. But he has the urge too, and his near-continual expressions of wishful violence against his opponents (documented in great detail by Michael Nugent)has rightly led to his current pariah status.

            More importantly and germane to the discussion, this seething, violent rage observed in Myers is also ubiquitous among the regressive left. Witness another ostensibly mild-mannered college instructor, Eric Clanton, who felt justified by his political righteousness to bash in the skull of an opponent with a bicycle lock. It is pathological, and it is erupting into active public violence that will tear apart this nation and the very fabric of our society.

          • Jim Smith
            Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            Ah yes, “Words are violence” when they do it. Colorful rhetoric when we do it.

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            I recall Myers making at least two stabby-posts.

            One about stabbing someone if he found them praying over him in the street and another fantasy about stabbing a priest, the Dalai Lama and some other religious dude on his deathbed.

            He was also very tolerant of comments that threatened violence, usually involving some kind of anal object-rape, and a particularly nasty one about sexually assaulting Richard Dawkins by a water cooler and then feeling ‘dirty’ about if afterwards ‘having sank to Dawkins’s level.’

          • chrism
            Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

            “But it’s extremely rude to disparage him on another forum, especially when doing it speciously.”

            You have quite evidently never tried to differ from the point of view of PZ or his horde on his own forum then. Those who disagree will see their posts disappear, or be edited without any indication and will certainly be banned in an incontinent explosion of red fonts and Comic Sans. It’s neither pretty nor dignified. I might point out that PZ is undoubtedly welcome to post here and speak up for himself. PCC(E) won’t ban him as long as Da Roolz are respected.

            • tomh
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

              “I might point out that PZ is undoubtedly welcome to post here and speak up for himself”

              That’s funny. Why would he care what a few random, internet commenters have to say about him?

              • chrism
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

                Ah, so true. No doubt he’s too busy with The Happy Atheist Vol. 2 to spare time for our fleabites.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

                PZ has obsessed about what others say about him since at least when he was a topic of discussion at Abbie Smith’s ERV blog. He’s reacted to content at the nefarious Slymepit and sees ‘slimepitters’ everywhere, likely including under his bed.

                He felt the need to plagiarize at Pharyngula an entire post I’d written about him at a very obscure blog. And it was his fury at discovering “that asshole Cavanaugh” and other “slimepitters” commenting at Michael Nugent’s blog that led him to declare it a “haven for rapists.”

                PZ has also often posted at Pharyngula in response to his mention at WEIT.

                Oh, he cares very much what’s said about him, but lacks the courage to either address his interlocutors directly or allow them at his blog.

              • tomh
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

                My,my, you seem quite obsessed with him. Why care so much?

              • Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

                Before his nose dive into irrelevance, Myers was once quite influential in the A/S community, and was actively promoted by Richard Dawkins. Myers even went so far as to declare himself “The Fifth Horseman”.

                You may not be aware of the full extent of the damage done to A/S activism by the Atheism Plus crowd, but it was extensive and lasting.

                As I’ve outlined numerous times, Myers also holds bizarre, crackpot views on evolution. Over the years, he was a regular speaker at conferences and other events, pitching his fractured fairytale version of evolution.

              • tomh
                Posted July 5, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

                “As I’ve outlined numerous times, Myers also holds bizarre, crackpot views on evolution.”

                No, you haven’t.

                “You may not be aware of the full extent of the damage done to A/S activism by the Atheism Plus crowd, but it was extensive and lasting.”

                Since there is no such thing as “A/S activism,” this is impossible.

              • Posted July 6, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

                Tom, if you want to make something true just by saying it, you have to click your heals while repeating it three times.

              • tomh
                Posted July 6, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

                Just following your example.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        “… I hate to see either of you condemn the other.”

        Lynn, that ship sailed long ago. I don’t know how anyone can stand to read PZ anymore–whenever I happen to do so (usually when Jerry’s posted a critique of a PZ post), I feel dirty.

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          It’s definitely a good idea to get all your commentary from a single source.
          Right?

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            Diane’s obviously another one of those “Asshole Atheists” who won’t listen to reason.

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            I got my information from Pharyngula. If you have a better source for what’s posted on Pharyngula than Pharyngula itself please let me know.

            • Simon
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

              How illogical of you. Every good Pharyngulite knows that the best source of information on an ideological foe is anywhere but somewhere where they are free to express themselves unhindered.

            • Jim Smith
              Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

              Why yes Pollyanna, and I got my information about the USSR from Pravda and it was a worker’s paradise.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        “…merely saying he deserves it.”

        Hmm. I don’t think anyone deserves to be violently physically assaulted.

        • Diane G
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:04 am | Permalink

          Yes, plus PZ is or at least can be too good a writer to have to resort to such pedestrian language.

          I shudder to think of any on-the-verge atheists stumbling on his site and thinking we’re all like that.

          • Helen Hollis
            Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

            Umm

      • Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:36 am | Permalink

        PZ is not advocating anyone kick Pruitt in the balls, he’s merely saying he deserves it. PZ’s writing style is often more colorful than Jerry’s but I’ve never seen him actually condone violence.

        Well I would say that stating somebody deserves a kick in the balls* is condoning violence but not necessarily inciting it.

        *I haven’t read PZ’s article yet, so I concede it’s possible that, in context, the kick in the balls was meant metaphorically.

        • Helen Hollis
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:48 am | Permalink

          This whole thing seems, a bit unseemly. No where in the post is PZ mentioned so he could defend himself or his position that I can not even see here.

          • Helen Hollis
            Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:49 am | Permalink

            Call him out if you must, but be proper about it.

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:53 am | Permalink

            From PCC(E)’s post:

            Apparently not to some Control-Leftists. P. Z. Myers, for instance, posted that video and gleefully approved of the confrontation:

            Polite, honest, and accurate. She didn’t punch him, throw his table over, or kick him in the balls, even though he deserves all of that. It was an effective protest.

            If you see one of Trump’s lackeys in public, and you don’t lean over and tell them, “Resign!”, you aren’t as brave as Kristin Mink.

            Make ’em cringe a bit when they’re out in public. It’s the least you can do.

            Really? Now he deserves to be kicked in the balls, too? (That, of course, is illegal.)

            That’s the second paragraph below the video.

        • Jim Smith
          Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink

          Again for the apologists, ‘we need context when we do it”.

          But context is not needed when they do it. Or, you provide the context.

          This is a common strategy of all monster idealogies.

  3. GBJames
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I can’t see anything wrong with publicly confronting public officials about public matters in a public place.

    This woman made her case respectfully and it is not right, IMO, to conflate her actions with PZ’s call for physical assault.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      me too!

    • paablo
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • yazikus
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your first sentence, but I’m uneasy. Is there a point at which this becomes harassment, organized or not? If this becomes common behavior, will all government officials end up being effectively shunned from public places? Is that an acceptable outcome for the right of people to protest?

      The question becomes not whether we can but whether we should. What kind of society will this create?

      These are genuine questions, I haven’t made up my own mind yet.

      (I agree with your point about the odious PZ Myers.)

      • Taz
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        If this becomes common behavior, will all government officials end up being effectively shunned from public places?

        No, they’ll end up being accompanied by security in public places, and at some point there will be violence.

      • GBJames
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think I want to live in a society where public officials can’t be confronted in public by members of the public.

        I don’t thing slippery slope arguments are of much value here. If you think this woman should have not spoken up because some other person might do something terrible, then I don’t really know how to respond. We should all be politely silent in the vicinity of public officials?

        Scott Pruitt has plenty of protection from real and imagined dangers.

        • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I’m not concerned about people doing “something terrible”, I’m wondering what the unintended and unforeseen consequences of normalizing this behavior might be. I don’t think that changes in policy are likely to be the result. In fact, I think that interrupting someone having a private dinner with their family and friends is a good way to ensure that they don’t listen to what you have to say.

          While I support the right to speak to government employees in this situation (unless the restaurant owner has rules otherwise), I suspect that this kind of behavior will lead to fewer opportunities to do so as potential targets separate themselves further from the public.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            How is “unforeseen consequences” substantively different from “something terrible”?

            Maybe the “unforeseen consequences” would be an improvement of some kind. (Unlikely, perhaps, but that’s the nature of “unforeseen”.)

            And just so I have this straight… the reason to not use an opportunity like this is that some other opportunity might not avail itself? That makes no sense to me. There’s an old saying about a bird in the hand that applies here.

            • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

              No, the reason not to do it is that it isn’t effective in achieving your goals. You’re just annoying the person you hope to change. You’re also normalizing behavior that will be used against people you agree with. I don’t see any benefit other than venting and virtue signaling.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

                I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea of normalizing members of the public speaking strongly but politely to public officials who are in public places. If public officials don’t want to interact with the public (clearly the case in Pruitt’s case if you have been paying attention to his history) then they should either not go out in public or resign their office.

                I do not want to live in a country where public dissent from the actions of government officials, expressed in pubic, is to be avoided because the official doesn’t want to hear it.

              • Diane G
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

                + 1 @ Patrick.

            • Diane G
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

              @ GBJ

              “…I do not want to live in a country where public dissent from the actions of government officials, expressed in pubic, is to be avoided because the official doesn’t want to hear it.”

              Which no one in this thread is claiming. The point is, it’s ultimately an own goal.

              Also, I do not want to live in a country where everyone is walking around confronting their targets so the confront-er can have their own special YouTube moment.

              I realize that this woman would have a hard time reaching Pruitt if she had to go through his staff. Perhaps a peaceful sit-in would be more productive. Civil disobedience and all…

              • Wunold
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink

                I agree. Furthermore, I believe that public officials deserve a private life like everyone else. If not for humanistic reasons, then from the awareness that they need it to do a good job in their working hours.

              • Samedi
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

                Well said.

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Do you really think this is new behaviour?

            Public figures have been likely approached in public places since the first human began making decisions that affected others. After a while those people are likely to respond to those decisions, whether in favor or opposed.

            • Lynn Wilhelm
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

              **likely been**

            • Simon
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

              Has there ever been a movement openly calling for people to effectively chase politicians into hiding from the public? The sense of entitlement and short-sightedness of this is plain to see. It will mean that henceforth, no prominent political office holder of any stripe will ever be able to appear in public without harassment. The only way this will not happen is if non-Democrats have the integrity not to respond in kind. To be fair, that is not impossible.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

                hyperbole much?

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

                “Has there ever been a movement openly calling for people to effectively chase politicians into hiding from the public?”

                Ask Walther Rathenau about that one.

              • Simon
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

                Not hyperbolic at all. That is exactly what some Democrats like Maxine Waters are calling for.

        • RRR
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          I would just say good luck getting good public officials if part of the job description is having to be sequestered from the very public you are supposed to serve. Pretty sure this form of direct democracy is not what the founders were thinking of. I don’t know that I like it either. Don’t like Pruitt? Vote. I don’t want this woman who has easy easy access speaking for me. Why does she get a privilege voice over a voter out west?

          • GBJames
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            Good public servants like Scott Pruitt?

            BTW… “That woman” wasn’t speaking for you. She was speaking for herself.

    • Jim Smith
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      I bet you will never say this about right-wingers confronting a leftie public servant.

      What do you say about anti-abortionists ‘publicly confronting’ nurses and doctors and others at facilities providing abortion services to women?

    • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      However, nobody is forced to read PZ (thank Ceiling Cat for this) but that gentleman was actually forced to listen to the angry mother’s tirade; or else, he had to abandon his meal.

      Very much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and other similar religious folks who will approach you and start rescuing your soul while you are doing your business.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    “doesn’t the man have a right to eat in peace in a restaurant?”

    this puts it crystal clear – imagine a country where he couldnt. This is the country the harassers want.

    i think it is symptomatic of something in peoples heads where they are too lazy to vote but have plenty of energy to get in their opponents’ face as long as the opponent brings their face within arms reach.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      As someone else said, do you seriously think this woman doesn’t vote? We can both vote AND comment on public policy and those who make that policy.
      Would you prefer we simply sit back and wait to vote? Is that really the only voice we get in this country? Is that the type of country you want?

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        i can tell Mink votes.

        as i recall though – a very large fraction of US citizens did not vote.

        therefore

        the behavior can be adopted by that fraction. that is the scenario by which i was judging the behavior.

        however

        merely voting does not mean Mink is behaving with civility.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Wow. Condemning Mink’s behaviour because of what others might do. Interestingly enough this is just the argument by the “regressive left” that our host condemns.
          Besides you said Mink’s behaviour was “symptomatic” which is the opposite of your explanation.

          “merely voting does not mean Mink is behaving with civility.”
          That’s certainly a non-sequitur.
          Perhaps you should think more carefully before commenting.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            “Condemning Mink’s behaviour because of what others might do.”

            I don’t understand.

            • Lynn Wilhelm
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

              It is a bit hard to follow your previous comment:

              as i recall though – a very large fraction of US citizens did not vote.

              therefore

              the behavior can be adopted by that fraction. that is the scenario by which i was judging the behavior.

              But I interpreted it to say that non-voters might copy Mink’s behaviour, therefore Mink should not behave that way.

              If I misinterpreted, please clarify.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

                I can’t follow this so I have to go in detail:

                “i can tell Mink votes.”

                that means that I could tell that Mink is a United States Citizen, since, I guess, it’d be unusual for someone to decide to talk to the EPA secretary, though I suppose that might in theory be wrong.

                “as i recall though – a very large fraction of US citizens did not vote.”

                the idea being that Trump was elected in large part due to low voter turnout. The people who didn’t vote, therefore, are in large part to blame for Trump being elected, and, therefore, for Pruitt getting told to resign.

                “therefore

                the behavior can be adopted by that fraction. that is the scenario by which i was judging the behavior.”

                The fraction of the citizens who did not vote either like Trump or do not like Trump, and, therefore, like Pruitt or do not like Pruitt, to a first approximation anyway. I assume the fraction who didn’t vote do not like Trump, but that could be way off.

                What if Mink didn’t vote at all? That’s the scenario I think gives the best way of judging the … the video that is posted. Because the people who voted against Trump had their say, the people who voted for Trump had their say. I think the people who voted for neither Trump nor Hillary are to blame for Trump being president. I’m tired right now, and starting to ramble here, but lastly : there were lots of other interesting comments here – the thing to promote is getting people to vote. I think this reply-to-my-reply could go on forever, but in a word : vote.

                “however

                merely voting does not mean Mink is behaving with civility.”

                this is a sort of corollary, where, as I assumed, Mink voted for Hillary. I’m not sure what this was for then – I think my arguments sounded at the time like I set up a condition I was looking to account for… but as I said, I’m tired and can’t think straight, so this I’d toss out.

              • Lynn Wilhelm
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

                Well if you can’t understand it, I certainly can’t either.
                Thanks for trying to clarify. We can call this discussion ended–for now at least.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                Oh I remember now what I meant by

                “merely voting does not mean Mink is behaving with civility.”

                what I was thinking here is that people who didn’t vote don’t have a right to complain – because they sat at home instead. by “right to complain” I mean in the common everyday sense, not in terms of Free Speech For the case of Mink, at least she voted, and has a clear right to complain to/about Pruitt. But this sets up a condition where it could sound like, by virtue of voting, and complaining directly to Pruitt, Mink was by definition within civility. So I wanted to close that hole, and say it does not necessarily mean it is civil.

                aaaaand done.

              • Simon
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

                Don’t be so disingenuous. You must realise that the issue is not about this incident in isolation, it is about encouraging this behaviour as routine. People ARE being urged to copy this behaviour en masse. That is what the argument is about.

    • BethClarkson
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      The man is a public official who isn’t being responsive to the public he is supposed to serve. There are very few avenues available to concerned citizens to reach him. He’s appointed, not elected, so he can’t be voted out of office. Letters have no effect. Protests have no effect. I’m all for leaving people alone to eat dinner if there are other methods of reaching them. But in this case, all other input from ordinary citizens is ignored. Having to listen to a citizen confront him in public over his policy decisions and unethical behavior is not automatically uncivil behavior and did not cross that line in this instance. Frankly, I think it’s the very least he can expect given his job performance and lack of responsiveness to complaints about it by citizens.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Taz
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Letters have no effect. Protests have no effect.

        And neither does this.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Would it be okay, then, if fifteen people lined up, each one giving Pruitt their grievances? If not, how many people would you say is the limit. And is it okay for people to constantly do this to him in restaurants, at the store, and at the gas station.

        • Historian
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          Just like Hollywood stars, politicians are celebrities. All celebrities should expect that when they go in public that they will be accosted by the public for a variety of reasons. This is part of the job description. Celebrities who don’t want to meet the public avoid going into places where the public would have access to them. If a politician doesn’t want to risk meeting the public then he/she should stay home, eat all meals there and have somebody else do the outdoor chores. Of course, politicians should not be screamed at or denied service, but respectful confrontation by the citizenry is an American tradition.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            I disagree that celebrities should have no privacy. That’s like saying because someone is a plumber they have a duty to do your plumbing even when they are having lunch with their family. People don’t owe you their attention just because you have seen them on TV. It’s a job and nobody should have to work 24/7.

            • Historian
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

              Yes, it’s a shame celebrities don’t have privacy. It’s also a shame that pigs don’t fly. A person who becomes a celebrity and doesn’t realize that much of his/her privacy is now gone is highly naive. You can’t wish away facts of life. Most Hollywood and sports stars realize this and all politicians should. There is a price to pay for fame.

              • Diane G
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

                “A person who becomes a celebrity and doesn’t realize that much of his/her privacy is now gone is highly naive.”

                But that is not what STA is saying. Of course they realize it, but that doesn’t mean all intrusive behavior should be tolerated. They do win cases against paparazzi and tabloids now and then, you know.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:51 am | Permalink

                You can’t wish away facts of life. Most Hollywood and sports stars realize this and all politicians should. There is a price to pay for fame.

                You’re victim blaming.

                There is, sadly, a price to pay for fame but that does not mean it is a fair price.

          • nicky
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            I think Mr Pruitt likes to have others do his outdoor chores. I’m not sure if it is true, but is rumoured he sent his security staff to steal some aftershave or deodorant he particularly liked from a hotel room.

            Although I do not think it will achieve very much, I think the respectful way that Ms Mink confronted Mr Pruitt is wholly acceptable.
            She did not seek him out, but it was a chance encounter (was it?), she was polite , introduced her child even, and I thought it was a good move to get the child ‘involved’, so Mr Pruitt should realise it is about future generations, and mothers and their children (a potentially great force). It is a good thing that officials get ‘the pulse’ among the ‘ordinary’ people, ‘keep in touch’ and the like, I’d say.
            If Mr Pruitt were worth his salt he should have responded, but he chose not to.
            I doubt that such civil and polite confrontations are counterproductive.
            If shouting or insulting were involved it probably would be counterproductive indeed.

            • Diane G
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

              Strikes me as very unlikely that is was a chance encounter, given that she seemed to have a written, rehearsed speech with her.

              • nicky
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:56 am | Permalink

                Well, I thought of that, hence my question, but it is possible she scribbled some notes when she saw him, just before confronting him.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it’s okay.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Yep, if he won’t respond to people in other, more appropriate venues, then let every voter line up to talk to him when he’s out in public.
          As I said previously, he can set up a more appropriate time for public feedback if he likes. He can choose to do that or stay at home if he doesn’t like the response.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

          I dunno. Would it be ok if some supporters stopped by his table to say keep up the good graft and nature despoiling?

      • Mike
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        But he’s an appointed official of the government that the American public elected. I think it’s very likely he’s being responsive to the public who are responsible for putting him in office. After all Trump and associates made no secret about what kind of people they were and how they were likely to act. And have your population who could be bothered to vote voted them in. Will you be just as happy when some christian conservative starts upbraiding Democrat officials in public?

        • Mike
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          have =half

  5. Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Trump has made his opponents as maniacal as his supporters.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      What is maniacal about this?

      • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        This is a behavior usually restricted to Jehovah’s Witnesses and other maniacal cult members.

  6. Howard S Neufeld
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Totally agree with you Jerry. One should take the high road. As one who post-doc’d with the EPA, and has friends working there, I sympathize with them. They certainly didn’t go into public service only to have the head of their agency undermine their life’s work.

    Pruitt is a dangerous person and could set back environmental regulations for decades and undo much of the progress that has been achieved under more enlightened administrators. Even under Stephen Johnson, a republican appointed head of the EPA in the Bush II administration, the Clean Air Act was strengthened (although not by as much as the Science Advisory Committee recommended), but at least the law was followed. It remained for the Obama administration under Gina McCarthy to get to the levels recommended under the Bush II administration.

    Now, we have Pruitt stacking the advisory committee with industry hacks, so they can undermine it from within and gut the Clean Air Act without having to have Congress do anything about it (as required by law).

    In a paper soon to be sent to a scientific journal, my colleagues and I show that the air quality in Great Smoky Mts. National Park is now better than it has ever been since monitoring was started 25 years ago. Thank the Clean Air Act for that. And while we have cleaned up the air, both there and in most of the U.S., the national economy has more than tripled in size.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      So, if you were in a restaurant with Pruitt, you’d be totally silent? It certainly sounds like you have a lot to say to him.

      Silence is effectively affirmation. Being silent simply isn’t appropriate these days, when we have an administration that attempts to make it’s own reality despite any opposing facts. Trump and his ilk might be able to ignore those facts, but we need to make sure the rest of the country hears them.

      • wendell read
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Not confronting Pruitt in a restaurant does not mean you must remain silent. There are hundreds of ways of properly communicating your displeasure with public officials. Confronting them in restaurants is not one of them.

        • BobTerrace
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Tell us about these proper communication ways. Show us how the conservatives always use those ways.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Ummm. . . do we always have to do exactly what the conservatives do? I don’t think so. There are votes, letters to write, phone calls, public statements on social media, letters to the newspaper, and so on. So I’ve just told you about the proper communication ways.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

              Those are only some of the ways. Many of us think there are others, including speaking up in public places.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:08 am | Permalink

                Of course you can speak up in a public place but harassing him in a restaurant when he is “off the clock”?

                Personally, I think, if you are defining in a restaurant in a private capacity i.e. not as part of your job, you should have an expectation of some privacy or at least an expectation that you will not be harassed.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

                You can’t speak to public officials walking down the street because they are “off the clock”? Srsly?

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

                I’m not sure if this has been noted yet. There are so many comments!

                There’s a big difference between stopping the mayor of your town on the street to make your opinions known and interrupting the EPA chief’s dinner. The mayor directly represents the citizens who elected him and probably has a “talk to me anywhere” policy while the EPA chief doesn’t really represent US citizens in anywhere near the same fashion. And it should still be considered rude to interrupt the mayor at dinner. On the other hand, the mayor is probably not doing everything he can to destroy his town. Pruitt, on the other hand, ….

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Many people HAVE tried to communicate with the Trump administration in other ways. Very little gets through and if something does, it’s often short-lived and the administration soon ends up touting their own version of reality.

        • Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          When proper channels of communicating one’s displeasure with public officials are completely ignored, as Mr. Pruitt has, then confronting them in restaurants strikes me as both civil and effective. It’s not pleasant for them, but Mr. Pruitt has not made himself very accessible to citizens. He is a public official. He can expect that the public might want to speak with him when he is in public. Personally, I hope more citizens are willing to civilly confront these officials during chance encounters.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Don’t spout this bunk that silence is affirmation. If a guy you disagree with is eating in a restaurant, silence is simply letting him eat in peace. How on earth can you equate failure to confront him with affirmation of his policies?

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          Any guy in general, sure, but Pruitt isn’t just any guy. He’s not offering other avenues of communication to respond to dissenters. If he were, confronting him in public wouldn’t be necessary.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            Nuf ced:

            https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa

            • Diane G
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

              But to be fair, just how many of such contacts are going to make it all the way to Pruitt himself?

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

                About the same as with any government official. Why are we suddenly compelled to accost them in restaurants?

              • Diane G
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

                Don’t ask me! I’m on the not-OK side here… 😉

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

              Really? Have you used this website? It gives you the opportunity “like” the EPA on Facebook or to “follow” it on twitter, or to “view” its blogs and forums. Or you can report an oil spill or submit an official comment on a proposed regulation.

              You think this is an adequate substitute for Scott Pruitt — the most corrupt cabinet member in modern times, who is systematically dismantling decades of vital environmental regulation (which is the only reason the corrupt sonuvabitch still has a job in the Trump administration) — being called upon to answer for his myriad misdeeds?

              Tell you what, why don’t you try submitting a probing inquiry of Secretary Pruitt using this site, and then let us know if you get a prompt and satisfactory response?

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

                What I hear you saying is: because Pruitt is the worst EPA chief evah — and he is — the proper conduit for expressing one’s displeasure with his policies is to confront him in a restaurant. And further, that doing so is an effective means of accomplishing what, exactly?

                Finally, what in your estimation would constitute a “satisfactory response” from Pruitt or any other government official you disagreed with?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:35 am | Permalink

                @Matt

                Pruitt has dodged all manner of accountability to his constituents, so confronting him in public has become the only conduit for directly taking him to task for his misconduct.

                A “satisfactory response” would be one that addresses the public’s concerns on the merits.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

                You’re not going ever to get that sort of ‘satisfactory’ response from Pruitt or any politician or gov’t. official.

                Accosting him in a restaurant with a trite *prepared* statement is completely useless.

                The proper conduits for addressing his action & policy are: 1) congressional hearings; 2) win the next damn election.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

                “Accosting him in a restaurant with a trite *prepared* statement is completely useless.”

                I would have preferred that she serenaded him with Lily Allen’s cheerfully polite “Fuck You” song.

                But maybe she didn’t care if her actions would be judged “useful” to other people.

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

                I’m sure she didn’t. It got her what she wanted: increased esteem among her tribe.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

                I think that is nothing but cynicism. Is it that hard for you to think that her motivation might be a legitimate concern for the envionment, the behavior of government officials, the future of her child?

                Are your comments to be interpreted as nothing but attempts to raise your esteem within your tribe?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

                @Matt

                You say the only proper conduits are elections and congressional hearings.

                I say the public uproar in response to Trump’s unconscionable family-separation policy was what got him to back down on that one.

  7. W.T. Effingham
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Based on the narratives written before and after the body of the video, this lady was intent on getting a minimum of fifteen minutes of Fame. I am not sure she had Pruitt’s security details shaking in their boots like she seemed to want us to believe. Sadly),no, fortunately, in terms of the volume of information available in today’s media, she’ll be lucky to get 1.5 seconds of fame.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Really, how rude. She had something important to say to a public figure and you think she’s only out for fame?
      Filming something like this is important these days, not for fame, but for documentation.

      • Adam M.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        I doubt she was wholly motivated by fame, but is putting the video up on YouTube purely for “documentation”?

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Yes.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Really, Lynn, you’ve been rude in this conversation as well. Remember?:

        “Perhaps you should think more carefully before commenting.”

        And yes, it was quite obvious how rehearsed and YouTube-ready this stunt was. She had a speech with her, for crissakes. Not to mention a videographer.

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          You consider my comment rude? Srsly?
          And no it hardly looked rehersed, it looked like she jotted some things down–the paper looks like a bit of scrap paper. She looked and sounded like someone who saw an opportunity to speak to someone she’s been very disappointed with and took it.
          I am really surprised at the level of conspiracy theorizing her. I honestly have thought pretty highly of regular commenters here, I’m questioning that now, just as this post of Jerry’s is making me question his desire to speak thoughtfully about political issues.

          • Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Yes, your comment was rude, and if you can’t see that, reread the Roolz.

            As for insulting me, well, that’s a Roolz violation itself. If you don’t think I have a desire to speak thoughtfully about political issues, I urge you to go elsewhere. This post looks unobjectionable to me; it just doesn’t comport with your own views.

  8. alexandra Moffat
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    what would work better would be if everybody in the restaurant walked out quietly – or many of them.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      yes – i like it.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      So the restaurant owners should take a hit?

      • alexandra Moffat
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        pay on the way out

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        or I suppose in practice the whole place would say “check, please”

  9. darrelle
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Me neither.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      nor me

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I do have a problem with this.

      • Craw
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        As do I. These are all attempts to *punish*. That is why they are wrong. Punishing people because they disagree with you is not how you run a decent, civil society.
        Is Roy Cohn to be our role model now?

        • mikeyc
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Apparently. I’ll add that there is little likelihood anyone will do this kind of thing without cameras present. There is a reason for that.

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

            Srsly? As I said below, this isn’t new behaviour. People were confronting public figures long before cameras existed, long before newspapers…, before papyrus…, cavepainting…

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, there’s a reason for that: Scott Pruitt will not appear in a public forum to answer the inquiries of the citizens he serves and refuses to submit to interviews by the media. This has become the only avenue for endeavoring to get him to answer to the American people on the record.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          “Is Roy Cohn our role model now?”

          No, that would be Trump.

          And if you consider this a form of punishment, then it is far from equal to the crime.

  10. busterggi
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    When a society has decided that civility and decency are weaknesses…

    • Diane G
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      + 1

    • Richard
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      Robert Heinlein wrote many years ago (I’m quoting from memory here): “It is a sign of a sick society when bad manners are regarded as a sign of strength rather than of weakness.”.

      • Deni Pisani
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        I grok. Just happy to see ANY reference to Heinlein. Happy days.

  11. Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who supports this kind of action has no grounds to object if the other side does the same.

    • busterggi
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      By the ‘other side’ do you mean the Trumpkins who came armed to town hall meetings?

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        What I said implies otherwise?

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        What about Libertarians who decide to confront IRS employees about their views on the income tax?

        • yazikus
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          They do. I’ve spoken to numerous IRS employees who were made to feel very unsafe during work in certain parts of the country.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            My question was aimed at those who support this woman’s behavior. Is this a principled position that you support regardless of what kind of society it creates or is it only a good idea if your political opponents’ ox is being gored?

            • yazikus
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

              This woman’s behavior does not resemble the behavior related to me by those IRS employees. This woman’s behavior was perfectly civil.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

                i agree that her moment to moment behavior was civil – she wasnt rude or violent, she was calm, etc.

                however

                the tactic – getting on Pruitt’s case, without warning, filming apparently without consent, incorporating her child who couldnt possibly understand what was going on – … id have to say was …

                oof… ill have to think.

                apologies : auto correct, capitalize, etc. off.

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

                So equally civil descriptions of why libertarians despise IRS employees, delivered calmly with video uploaded after the event is equally acceptable to you?

                If your answer isn’t “Yes” then your position is based on politics rather than principle.

              • Craw
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                No it wasn’t. It was calm and quiet. But it was inherently uncivil because it was an unwelcome and hostile intrusion.

              • Lynn Wilhelm
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

                So equally civil descriptions of why libertarians despise IRS employees, delivered calmly with video uploaded after the event is equally acceptable to you?

                If your answer isn’t “Yes” then your position is based on politics rather than principle.

                Yes.
                I guess I passed that one.
                Next.

                –the only thing I’d add is that confronting employees who don’t make the policy probably isn’t the best way go, as is despising the employees themselves rather than the policy, but the answer’s still yes.

              • nicky
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

                But Craw, can his behaviour, poisoning your water and defiling your air (not mentioning illegally spending your tax money for his own comfort) not be considered an intrusion in your life?
                I dunno, I get our host’s point, but if done as politely as here, I’d have no objection.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      and in any cases, there can be no end to the “discussion” – after all, everyone is a critic.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Precisely. By this point, I’d say everyone’s position (of which there are basically just two) has been well and frequently stated. I think we should agree to disagree, because the WEIT commentariat doesn’t need to fracture over a difference of opinion like this.

  12. Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know why you think the Left, “at least, should be better than this.” Is it not pretty much always the Left that first dispenses with civility? Isn’t that part of the description of far Leftists? Their cause is always unquestionably right and they are overflowing with unquestionable virtue. Imagine how virtuous that woman feels this morning after confronting Pruitt. She probably grew wings in her sleep last night.

    Whatever you think of their politics, the Right is usually more civil out in the marketplace. Belief in civic order is part of their philosophy. Even far Right-wing crazies, unlike Leftist crazies, do not generally bother their political enemies in such places as restaurants.

    But I think your analogy to anti-abortion activists is apt. For them, as for the far Left, their enemies are vicious murderers, deserving of any attack. And anti-abortion fanatics are the most likely Rightists to violate the unwritten rules of civility in the marketplace. But even that is rare — so far.

    • Ty Gardner
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I am uncertain that I can agree that the right is inherently more civil in the marketplace. The right has used the market in an uncivil manner, as they have with politics. I think that people often assume that being polite is being civil. I disagree with that assumption. For example, the right can politely impose and enforce rules that prevent equal access to voting. Is that civil? I’m not even sure that this is a right or left thing so much as that people in power possess greater comfort and therefore can behave in a polite manner while knowing they can impose their will, often through inequitable application of the law, whereas those who face inequities have little opportunity for such smug politeness.

    • Rita
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “Whatever you think of their politics, the Right is usually more civil out in the marketplace.” I’m thinking about some recent videos on Facebook that clearly showed white people screaming and berating Hispanics and other people of color, making fun of the person’s appearance, and harassing them for no reason whatsoever. One example was a Mexican guy mowing a friend’s lawn when a neighboring white lady approached him and started calling him derogatory names and telling him to get out of our country. So, no, I can’t think of right-wingers being more civil.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      “Is it not pretty much always the Left that first dispenses with civility?”

      Been to any Trump rallies lately?

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        No, but I’ve seen how Antifa behaves. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have a monopoly on bad behavior.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          And you should know by now that what you’ve seen isn’t generally factual.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      I don’t wholly agree with you, but when one is in power, one can remain civil by calling anyone who disagrees with their position uncivil.
      And let’s not deny that the right had been in a pretty solid position of power for quite a while.

      • yazikus
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        A commenter above said

        No it wasn’t. It was calm and quiet. But it was inherently uncivil because it was an unwelcome and hostile intrusion.

        So, literally, any ‘unwelcome intrusion’ becomes ‘inherently uncivil’. Must be nice to cocoon ones self in that way.

    • Diane G
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      “Don’t know why you think the Left, “at least, should be better than this.” Is it not pretty much always the Left that first dispenses with civility? Isn’t that part of the description of far Leftists?

      Now, now, that’s moving the goalposts.

      “Whatever you think of their politics, the Right is usually more civil out in the marketplace.”

      Other than those blatant racists who feel so empowered these days?

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        (add close-quote marks after the bolding…)

    • Samedi
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I don’t think characterizing this in terms of left versus right is helpful. I think what Jerry is doing is advocating for a principled view, not a partisan one. I would instead draw the battle lines as reasonable people of good will on all political sides versus fanatics who think they can throw principles out the window because their side is the correct one.

  13. Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Also, I wish people would stop using kids as a prop for their activism.

    • Ty Gardner
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      If her activism is genuine, it is for her kids. I know mine is.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      You may just not have noticed, SpeakerTo, but one’s kids happens to be a profound motivator for most people who have them. They are not “props” for their activism. They are the reason for much of the activism.

    • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      I agree (status: 2 kids).

  14. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, I need to start by saying that I’ve long admired you and respect the way you’ve expressed the rationale for your views (even when I don’t agree), but I’m afraid this time you’ve just gone too far in your demonization of the “left”.

    First, your last paragraph is your worst yet attempt at proposing what MLK would have done (perhaps that should be a thing now–WWMLKD?). How can you purport to know what King would or wouldn’t do or think?

    Second, Pruitt is a public figure and he’s in a public place. According to the video, Mink is being very polite and not at all uncivil. She simply confronts Pruitt with the facts and her opinions about those facts. What makes this inappropriate? If Pruitt didn’t want to be disturbed at that time, it’s his prerogative to invite her to a more appropriate meeting time and place to discuss her concerns. I’d expect the same thing if someone approached you in a public restaurant to discuss views you’ve been known to espouse in public.

    • BJ
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      “How can you purport to know what King would or wouldn’t do or think?”

      Go read King’s Strive Toward Freedom, and chapter 6 in particular. A quote:

      ” My study of Gandhi convinced me
      that true pacifism is not nonresistance to evil, but nonviolent resistance to evil.
      Between the two positions, there is a world of difference. Gandhi resisted evil with
      as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead
      of hate. True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power, as Niebuhr contends.
      It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love, in the
      faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflicter of it, since
      the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe,
      while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby
      bring about a transformation and change of heart.”

      Also, read about how he coached his fellow activists to react in situations where the were confronted, even with violence. It is quite easy to know what MLK would this about all of this, and it is not favorable.

      • BJ
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        *would think about all of this

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        “It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love, in the
        faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflicter of it, since
        the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe,
        while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby
        bring about a transformation and change of heart.”

        Exactly what this woman did. Used the love of her child and the planet to confront evil in a hope that she would shame the perpetrator of that evil and perhaps change his heart.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Minks confrontation comports exactly with King’s sentiments in that quote.

        Besides there’s a big difference between violating civil norms and violence (which is what he’s condemning here). We need to stop conflating the two strategies. You know, I absolutely think that King would’ve done things just like Mink did with Pruitt(perhaps he did?). The confrontation of evil with speech like hers “may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart”.

        I’ll say once more, Mink’s actions were far from violent, stop trying to say they were.

        • BJ
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          Nobody is conflating it, and nobody is saying this was violence. That was not the point I made.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      a. Dr. King never proposed this sort of disruption. I’m pretty sure that readers would agree with me that his civil disobedience policy would preclude this kind of behavior.

      b. It’s inappropriate because he’s out for dinner and it’s not right to disturb him. Would you like to be disturbed by religionists for your stand on abortion?

      I don’t accept your claim that I’ve gone too far.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        a. Oh come on, do you really think King would’ve refrained from speaking to a known white supremacist in a public place–assuming he felt safe to do so.

        b. People don’t have a right to not be offended, even when they’re out eating dinner. I believe you’ve often said the first part. And yes, if I can dish it out, I am certainly prepared to take it, especially if I can be shown to be wrong about something.

        • Diane G
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          ” Oh come on, do you really think King would’ve refrained from speaking to a known white supremacist in a public place–assuming he felt safe to do so.”

          Yes.

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Well then perhaps there are methods of protest that are still just fine even if people didn’t advocate for them 50 years ago…

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Ironically, the civil rights protestors wanted to eat their lunches in peace too—at the lunch counters in the Greensboro Woolworths.

        • Diane G
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Ironic indeed. 😉 And just the sort of thing the right will capitalize on–both Pruitt and the civil rights protesters just tying to eat in peace. Oh, how duplicitous these leftists are, changing tactics at the drop of a hat whenever it suits their politics! /s

          Srsly, I’d fully expect to hear something like this on The Savage Nation tomorrow…

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      If Pruitt didn’t want to be disturbed at that time, it’s his prerogative to invite her to a more appropriate meeting time and place to discuss her concerns.

      If 100 million voters would like to express their concerns to him in person, is he obligated to arrange 100 million meetings?

      It’s simply impractical for voters to expect one-to-ones with senior government figures, which is why it is inappropriate to interrupt someone’s lunch.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        If 100 million voters would like to express their concerns to him in person, is he obligated to arrange 100 million meetings?

        Well, he is a public servant, isn’t he. One on ones wouldn’t be necessary, I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone has expressed these views (I KNOW it isn’t) in some form or fashion.

  15. Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    When we talk of “bubbles” or ” echo chambers” we all understand what we mean: folks that share a common set of beliefs, language, and ritual and how they feed each other to reinforce those sets. I propose that Secretary Pruitt is in that situation. And in this country, in the Commons, as a servant of the people, one should expect an earful, even if you’ve done an exemplary job. And since you’ve the bully pulpit, listen. Otherwise, eat in private.

    Full disclosure, violence is unacceptable unless you are immediately attacked; incitement to violence is unacceptable unless immediate peril is present.

    IMHO

    • yazikus
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Well said, pdm.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this, especially “in this country, in the Commons, as a servant of the people, one should expect an earful, even if you’ve done an exemplary job. And since you’ve the bully pulpit, listen. Otherwise, eat in private.”

      He’s had a bunch of bodyguards and had been running (driving) around DC having his lackeys turn on the sirens so he can get to expensive restaurants Vite! Vite! He recently got barred from some government restaurant (I think army) because he abused the privilege. Where are his bodyguards? Why doesn’t he go to a Chick-A-Fil drive in, since he loves their sandwiches so much that he tried to get a franchise for his wife. If he’s in the Commons, eating in public, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the way the woman confronted him, polite and reasoned, non-threatening. And those who hyperbolize by equating her action with the minatory displays of Trump supporters or even those lefties who harangued Kirsten whats-her-name and that other Trump crony, are just plain wrong. What this woman did was not at all the same thing.

      Who knows what MLK would have done? (And MLK does not define the civil rights movement- I participated in it and in non-violent resistance, including being jailed for participating in a sit-in, and King was not my idol or inspiration, though I definitely respected him.) Certainly, that woman engaged in non-violent confrontation. The sit-ins at restaurants, I contend, were similar to this in that the people who engaged in them directly confronted the restaurant re its policies. In fact, the sit ins were far more bodacious, and there were similar objections to the sit-ins. The woman didn’t sit down at his table, refuse to leave, and harangue him throughout his meal. Should the people who engaged in sit-ins have been so polite and just passed on by? As others have noted, only direct action was efficacious. Further, I really don’t think it’s a valid manner of argumentation to engage in mind-reading dead people, but someone else in this thread said that silence equals acquiescence; so since the question was broached, I say that King would have heartily approved. It was a non-violent confrontation. King was no Tom, though some called him one.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        My apologies to Ms Kirstjen Nielsen for forgetting her name.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        What is it with Scott Pruitt and restaurants? Several of his problems concern restaurants, his pressing need to get to expensive restaurants as quickly as possible, his attempt to get his wife a Chick-Fil-A (now I can spell it) franchise, his intemperate patronage of an exclusive (cheap and delicious) government restaurant, now this. I read that his father ran steak houses (not one but several) — surely a coincidence, but a juicy one, nonetheless.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          Now that you mention it, Pruitt could avoid this problem by just eating at Chick-Fil-A!

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            Drive-through, with siren blaring and an escort. Problem solved. That way, he wouldn’t even have to wait in line; everybody would get out of his way post haste, and how intimidating would that flexing of governmental privilege and muscle be! But since the company reflects his kind of politics, he could eat there in peace, and I bet they’d even comp him.

  16. BobTerrace
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    If he is allowed to go anywhere and say what he pleases in public then she is allowed to go anywhere and say as she pleases in public.

    If one can’t handle criticism in public then either change your stance, resign or stay home.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      exactly!

      • mordacious1
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Same question for you as I asked NE Bob.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      its a question not of legality but civility.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and this was a civil protest.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          the tactic, I still think (my thinking is changing as I read the comments here), is uncivil.

          Mink’s tone, delivery, behavior, demeanor, words, voice, etc., was all entirely civil and polite and all that.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention, counter-productive.

    • Historian
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Politicians are as much celebrities as Hollywood stars. The latter are used to being confronted by the public in all sorts of different venues. The woman did not harass Pruitt; she was quite polite.

      The only objection I would have to what she did is that it may possibly lose votes for liberals as her actions are distorted. In contrast to the restaurant owner asking Sanders to leave, I don’t think this will happen in this instance, particularly with a guy like Pruitt. But, as others have pointed out, if politicians can’t stand to be confronted by citizens, some of whom are irate, then they need a new line of work.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        I deplore the paparazzi hounding of Hollywood stars, but there’s a big difference between them and Pruitt. They generally worked for their fame, they auditioned for the roles, and they’re not screwing over the taxpayer or destroying the planet. They’re accountable for their public behaviour if they want to keep on working.

        Unlike Pruitt, who wasn’t elected and apparently prefers not to be answerable to anybody.

        cr

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

          I don’t understand. Was Scott Pruitt appointed by picking a random person off the electoral register?

          If not, how did he come to Trump’s attention? Did he just sit around whilst fame and fortune dropped into his lap? Or did he work hard and successfully at whatever he did before joining the EPA?

    • mordacious1
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      So, I understand that some right wingers have ID’d this woman and where she works and lives. Since she has put herself out there, is it okay with you that some nutters show up outside the school where she works and obnoxiously protest? Her home? Whenever she shops or goes out to eat? Remember what happened to the Red Hen…they’re still closed I believe.

      This doesn’t appear to be some chance meeting. It seems to me that she ambushed this guy. She was reading from prepared text. So if the wind changes and the storm comes her way, she asked for it.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        She is reading from the bootpruit.com website – not a prepared speech

        The video appeared on her facebook under her real name so I doubt that “right wingers” outed her [doxed her] – her fb reveals a lot of her personal life/work details & info about her past protests – the peaceful women’s immigration sit-in of a few days ago for example.

        It is her husband doing the recording – they were out as a family:

        “As soon as my husband pointed out Pruitt sitting there, I knew instantly that I had to say something to him, it was just a question of what. His actions are the source of so much of my despair for my child’s future and frankly the future of humanity. He’s literally sacrificing our air and water, the well-being of coastal communities, all kinds of unique natural resources, for short-term personal gains. Buying stupid crap like a soundproof phone booth for his office and first-class plane tickets with taxpayer dollars, living in housing discounted for him by an energy group while he does favors for their clients. I honestly don’t know how he sleeps at night.

        It feels very personal. That’s why I decided to introduce him to my son. Like, you are wrecking the earth THIS KID, every kid, will inherit

        I think she’s a pretty cool lady – an obviously peaceful protester engaging a guy who makes it his business to be as unaccountable as possible.

        • mordacious1
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know. She had her phone in her hand, with a piece of paper covering the phone. It appeared to me as if she was reading off the paper.

          • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            Yeah, probably off some talking points scribbled on the paper.
            The horror!

            • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

              Even if the woman was reading from a script, even if she had thought about it before- “What if I were to run into Pruitt at a restaurant? What could I do?”- she had no advance notice that this would be her opportunity at that place, at that time.

              It would still take a tremendous amount of courage to confront a very high-ranking administration official. Knowing there would be consequences. And knowing that when she posted it, everything about it would be dissected and critiqued, just as it being done here.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        She’s a private citizen. Her actions don’t influence (i.e. fuck up) the lives and environment for millions of people.

        I think any action should be proportional to the damage the individual does. So if she gets one lonely rightwing loony holding a sign then, pro rata, they need to evacuate Washington pronto because the 20 megaton nuke is about to explode under Pruitt’s seat.

        cr

  17. Mark R.
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    We need more of this, not less.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • Craw
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      If by “we” you mean those who want to elect Republicans, I agree.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        You think this type of protest is going to get Trump more votes? What a silly notion.

        • mordacious1
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          I think it may fire up his base to turn out for midterms, yes.

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            No, it won’t. His base is his base…not growing. Why the hell would this ever “fire up his base”. What a silly notion.

            • Mark R.
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

              What I meant was it might “fire up his base” but who cares. That’s what his tweet account is for.

            • mordacious1
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

              A lot of people don’t vote in midterms. Both parties try to put controversial things on the ballot when they can, in order to turn out the vote. If people are mad, they tend to show up. Gun control, for example, works for both sides. Trump is a master at this. That’s one reason he keeps harping on the Maxine Waters comments. Get em mad, get contributions, turn out the vote. It’s not silly at all. It works or they wouldn’t do it.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

                Angry people vote. This is true for angry liberals as much as conservatives.

                Concerns for decorum, if they are not agreed by both sides hurt one side.

        • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I do think such behaviors are likely to get more votes for Trump.

  18. garthdaisy
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Don’t politicians go door to door entering people’s private lives to ask for support? Don’t they show up at cafes and places of business where average people are working and ask for your support?

    Public life is a choice. Being entrusted with our environment is a giant public responsibility and a choice. Being a famous rock star or actor is a choice. Being approached by the public with either praise or criticism goes with the territory of public life.

    Pruitt will get rich off this appointment just as famous actors and rock stars get rich off their fame. The price you pay is that famous people and public officials give up their privacy in public. It’s a trade off for all that money and power. It’s a choice. No one has to accept such a position.

    And this is a special case. This is no ordinary administration and no ordinary environment minister. It’s Scott Pruitt of the Trump administration.

    This was more than fair play me thinks. And I hate PZ Myers.

    • Cicely berglund
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that is my response also. It’s called public space because it is public. And a public official cannot claim immunity from public interaction when he/she is out in public. Did not Pruitt justify use of private or first class air travel because the wretched public insisted upon interacting with him.? And why do some of us insist upon ascribing negative/ notoriety seeking motivations to any member of the public who steps out of line.

    • Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Don’t politicians go door to door entering people’s private lives to ask for support? Don’t they show up at cafes and places of business where average people are working and ask for your support?

      Yes they do and personally, I hate it when they do that, especially if I’m trying to quietly eat my lunch or if they come knocking during an England match. That’s why I do not condone this behaviour on the part of anybody to anybody.

    • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “Don’t politicians go door to door entering people’s private lives to ask for support?”

      Not where I live, happily. I’d hate it.

  19. BJ
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    If P.Z. Myers approves of some behavior that is considered in any way contentious, it’s usually a reliable sign that the behavior in question is petty, childish, boorish, self-righteous, and/or utterly charmless and pathetic.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Good list. I’d add dishonest and lacking in integrity (as a general rule about PZ Myers’ behavior, not this incident in particular).

      • BJ
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I would not apply most of those labels to this specific video. Only self-righteous, and perhaps childish.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          Showing grave concern for the future of one’s child and the planet is self-righteous and childish? Give me a break.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Both of you are completely misrepresenting PZ as I know him from his blog. Your insults are also petty and childish.

        • Phil Giordana FCD
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          It appears you have no idea what you’re talking about concerning Myers.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            “Standing in the middle of a restaurant bothering someone while eating is not the place. ”

            precisely

        • Diane G
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Though orders of magnitude less disgusting than PZ’s insults.

  20. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    heres a thought experiment to consider :

    an actor/actress appears in a restaurant that a fan is in. would it be civil for the fan to criticize the actor/actress for the roles/films/etc the fan disliked?

    i dont think so.

    or also: is it civil for an employer to chew out an employee in front of the other employees?

    again i think not, and there’s better ways to do that.

    however, in neither case should it be illegal.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Scott Pruitt is not an actor. He is not an employer (in this context). He is a very powerful public official who is daily engages in unethical if not illegal behavior and is working directly at odds with the mission of the public institution he heads.

      To compare this situation to a fan criticizing a film star strikes me as preposterous.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        it would be preposterous to equate actor/actress to public servant. Or to equate a butcher to a public servant. Or a restaurant to a movie theater.

        I called this a “thought experiment”, because they help shed light on other, non-equal, but analogous, problems.

        but hey, who am I, I could be wrong.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          that is, as I understand it, thought experiments are not expected to have outcomes that are simply copy/pasted to other problems, but are used to examine the reasoning process.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          “but hey, who am I, I could be wrong.

          Especially in this case! 😉

          (I kid!, I kid!)

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        I forgot to put this in – that’s why I put in an employee and employer – because that IS exactly what is going on. Pruitt is the employee, Mink, the employer.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          Not so. This is a false equivalency.

          Generally an employer has the power to instruct the employee or even to sack them.

          Mink is one of millions of ’employers’, and she didn’t employ this guy, she had no say in his employment, she has no organisational power over him. Pruitt is an ’employee’ who consistently refuses either to talk to his ’employers’ or carry out their wishes, and can’t be sacked by them.

          Comparing this situation to the usual employer-employee relationship is just so tenuous as to be non-existent.

          cr

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            its an analogy – its to check the reasoning, its not to make precise claims for one and copy/paste that claim to the other scernario.

            i apologize for spelling but its taking 15 seconds to backdpace for each characyer.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

              Analogies work, but only if they are good ones.

              As for the spelling, no prolbem. Happens to the est of us.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

                Then i have to hear – what would a half-way decent analogy for this be? Would it entail anything short of Scott Pruitt and Kristen Mink and her 2-year old and a restaurant and the father taking a video that Pruitt might not have consented to?

                Is this a case of the perfect analogy being the enemy of the good – oh, no of course weve all heard that one.

                … 25 seconds this time. The hell?!

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

                A good analogy would not lose the power relationships involved. It would not lose the extreme degree of ethical and legal issues involved. It would not trivialize the degree to which the “victim” has direct and long-lasting impact on the lives of countless others, including the “perpetrator” of this crime.

              • ThyroidPlanet
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

                Yes yes!

                … so…. for instance, it could be… what then?

                And remember – (that “m” cost 27 seconds ) – it has to … in your view, precisely capture the look and feel of talking at a restaurant. A restaurant you just walk into so not a country club, not a faculty lounge, not a mess hall, not a prison, and a bar is out of the question because they only have bar food.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

                No, it doesn’t have to capture “precisely” that. It hast to capture the important salient features of the situation.

                For many people here (you?) the salient feature seems to be: “restaurant”. Every other feature seems to pale in comparison. The horror here seems to be that someone was eating! That strikes me as one of the least important features of this situation. [In point of fact, he wasn’t eating. He had finished eating. So the offense here was speaking to him in a place where people eat. Is that really what you think is critical here?]

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Agree with you there, GB.

        The film-star analogy is a very patchy one – by which I mean, some aspects are similar, some completely different.

        cr

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          analogous : comparable in certain respects, typically in a way that makes clearer the nature of the things compared.

          i dont think i drew specific conclusions from the actor/actress analogy – so whats your point? mine is to examine the reasoning about the nature of Mink’s tactic. i dont understand what is so “patchy” – a list of grievances read at a well-known individual while they are eating. would the conclusion change in a different scenario? it helps me decide.

          the employee/employer analogy is accurate though. are you going to trash that too?

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      False equivalency alert!

  21. Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Another problem with confronting Pruitt with his environmental misdeeds is that he was given his office with the intention that he do all those things. He’s way past caring about the environment. In his and Trump’s minds, the lady is interrupting his lunch to read him his list of successful accomplishments.

    • Diane G
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Good point. 😀

  22. BJ
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    People think we somehow can’t know what MLK would think about all of this. The injustices MLK fought against were far more violent and tangible, and yet he still did not approve of these tactics.

    Go read chapter six of his wonder Strive Toward Freedom, and read up on how he coached his own activists when it came to encounters with opponents, even when the opponents were violent. We know exactly what MLK would think of all this, and it is not favorable. He believed in using love to conquer hatred and injustice. He believed in changing people’s minds by befriending them and engendering empathy.

    • BJ
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      But, of course, the radical wing of the left has, in the past couple decades, roundly rejected most of MLK’s teachings, including the idea of a colorblind society being a just society. A society that does not consider the color of people’s skin is now considered racist in itself.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I responded more fully to this above. This is not violent behaviour, it merely violates civil norms.
      And no, he says confronting them with speech may engender shame and get people to change their minds. Mink is attempting to do just that.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      All the Greensboro Four had to do to maintain civility was stay on their side of the rope that demarcated the colored section at Woolworth’s. But no-o, they had to march up to the lunch counter itself and demand to be fed there, interrupting the meals of all the law-abiding white people who wanted only to be left to eat in peace and get back to their jobs.

      There were a whole lotta white folk back then who woulda told you they had no problem at all with colored folk seeking to vote, or writing to congressmen, or even attending integrated public schools. But disrupting simple citizens’ lunches in a private establishment? Positively uncivil!

      Point being, BJ, it ain’t as cut-and-dried as you’re portraying it. And there’s a big, thick brightline between incivility and violence. It was the latter that Martin eschewed in all circumstances on principle. The former was a matter of strategy and tactics.

      • BJ
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        You’ve made these points last time I brought up what King taught and how his activists carried it out, and it once again fails to change the point I made. None of it rebuts anything I said. What is cut-and-dried is what King thought and taught. And, as you noted, his activists were confronting far more dangerous and violent scenarios. Bringing up what white people thought or did has no relevance to what I said, except to prove that King’s eschewing of this kind of activism was even more brave, and thus he would be even more likely to oppose it in our time and climate.

        Yes, it was a matter of tactics and strategy, and it worked brilliantly. It was also a matter of philosophy, but I’m not terribly concerned with that.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          “Bringing up what white people thought or did has no relevance to what I said …”

          It does to the extent it demonstrates that those opposing the abuse of power need not be ineluctably constrained by the standards of “civility” advanced by those who are abusing power.

  23. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “Make ’em cringe a bit when they’re out in public.”

    i opted to read the transcript instrad of watching the video precisely because i know it would make ME cringe.

    … not to shift the subject, but taking videos without consent? I would not like that. Was the video consented to?

  24. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I assume her toddler understands why they were talking with Pruitt, but I couldn’t tell what her toddler had to say…. might have to watch this video…

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      ok i watched it – cringe inducing.

      toddler – 2 years old – being carried. had nothing to say. neither did Pruitt, it seems.

  25. Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Why not put the word out on social media and have a crowd waiting for him when he leaves the restaurant?

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Or make a stalking app to make harassment easier.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Stalking? Stop being hyperbolic.

        According to the report, she was merely eating at the same restaurant. Even “harassment” goes a bit far. As far as the video shows he didn’t even ask her to go away.

        • mordacious1
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          She was reading from prepared notes. Sounds like stalking to me.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            Not prepared notes. She was reading from bootpruit.com

            • Mark R.
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

              So what? Facts are facts.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Citizens confronting public servants in public places to petition them for a redress of grievances doesn’t meet the elements of any “stalking” statute I’ve ever seen.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        He’s a public servant. It’s his job to deal with public input. If he doesn’t like his job he can elect to quit. Nobody’s forcing this on him.

        • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Then someone will complain that it is impossible to convince decent people to apply for electable positions.

  26. Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    One question this raises is what is the expectation of privacy in a privately owned restaurant? Should it be acceptable to approach strangers in that environment for any reason?

    The decision should be on the owner, and I suspect most would like to keep the dining experience pleasant for all guests. A discreet note on the way in saying “Please refrain from intruding on the privacy of other diners.” would set the tone.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s appropriate to approach someone for any reason. The disturbed person can always ask to be left alone.
      If you don’t want any disturbance, then stay home or find places with private rooms.
      We CAN actually talk to each other when in public.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      A “discreet note”? You mean like the ones that said “whites only” or “no Irish need apply”?

      That kinda discreet note?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think the ownership of the restaurant is relevant (as an aside, what would a ‘publicly owned’ restaurant look like?).

      I think in law it would count as a ‘public place’. Unless it had been reserved for a private function.

      cr

  27. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Scott Pruitt is a public servant. The American taxpayers pay his salary — and pay for his #3.5 million security detail, his $30,000 cone-of-silence telephone, for his first-class airfare (so he doesn’t have to sit with the riff-raff in coach), and for his employees to run his personal errands, which have included finding a $200k job for his wife, finding those lotions he likes from the Ritz, and finding a used bed from Trump’s D.C. hotel.

    Despite being a public servant, Scott Pruitt has never held a townhall-style meeting, and routinely dodges interviews with anything but the most docile press. The people he serves have been denied a meaningful opportunity to have him answer for the despicable graft he’s engaged in and the atrocious policies he promotes.

    The woman who confronted him had pertinent things to say and questions to ask, and said them reasonably politely. He refused to engage with her (which would have required him to defend the indefensible).

    I’m generally in favor of letting people eat in peace. But I see a distinction between what happened here and the mere “public harassment” that Maxine Waters seemed to be advocating.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly with this, and tried to say the same thing in my windy way above. This states the matter concisely and clearly.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      What did she accomplish? She isn’t going to change Pruitt’s policies or convince him to resign. All her rudeness does is turn off some voters we are going to need this November.

      • GBJames
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense. Are you really telling me not to protest tRump’s many catastrophic policies because he isn’t going to change?

        • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Did I say that?

          • GBJames
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            I think you did, yes.

            “What did she accomplish? She isn’t going to change Pruitt’s policies or convince him to resign.”

            Substitute “you” for “she” and “Trump” for “Pruitt”.

            • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

              Did I say you or she shouldn’t protest? The most important thing is to do it in a way that is effective in getting Trump and the Republican Congress defeated at the polls. You aren’t going to change their minds, but you might change the minds of undecided voters. This petty crap isn’t the way to do it, IMHO.

              • Lynn Wilhelm
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

                Can you provide some kind of evidence that Mink’s confrontation is an ineffective method of protest?

                Mink might have made Pruitt rethink what he’s doing. Perhaps a diner at the next table is rethinking their vote for Trump at this moment.
                What actually works? All we know is that we really don’t know what’s likely to work in the days of Drumpf(if you don’t believe think a little harder about that pesky election in 2016).

              • GBJames
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

                You said it would accomplish nothing. This commonly implies that there’s no point in doing it and, thus, one shouldn’t do it.

                I think “this petty crap” is as likely to sway motivate voters who are already on your side to vote. It isn’t really about “undecided” voters. If there are people who are undecided about Trump, then there aren’t enough of them to count on one hand.

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                I’m sure there will be a poll on this anon. I have no obligation to adduce evidence to support a common sense observation.

                Right now the polls show about 52% disapproving Trump and 42% approving. That means about 10% of voters are undecided or declining to say. Given the gerrymandered Congress and the Electoral College, it is important to go after them, not write them off.

                Did people learn nothing from Clinton’s defeat?

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

                “Common sense observation”?
                You mean like a god exists, miracles happen, the sun orbits around the earth?
                Everyone here should know “common sense” is a very poor rationale for belief.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Are you going to vote for Trump because of this incident? I didn’t think so. No one who already doesn’t support Trump is going to be turned off by a civil, truthful, public indictment of one of Trump’s odious henchmen.

        • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Of course I won’t. But it isn’t about getting me, it is about getting the marginal voters.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            And those shrill New Atheists should all STFU, too. Honey and vinegar, you know.

            • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

              Don’t see the connection. In politics, the trick is get people to vote the way you want them to, not piss them off.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                In social politics the trick is to get people to view things your way. In politics the trick is to get people who think like you to vote.

                I think is exactly the same kind of thing. I don’t see how you can fret about offending voters and not about offending believers.

                Hell, in this case the voters you’re worried about are the very same people as the believers you wouldn’t hesitate to be “shrill” to. (I presume.)

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Marginal voters? Who cares about them. A marginal voter won’t even know about this incident.

            • Posted July 4, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

              Don’t worry about marginal voters.

              And don’t worry about the cancelled gig. Boston’s not a big college town.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Besides, you don’t know if what Mink said put a little chink in Pruitt’s version of reality. A chink that might grow into a crack when the next person does it (optimistic, I know, that probably won’t happen not until coastal cities are underwater if at all).

        • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          People lecturing me don’t produce chinks in my version of reality, and I don’t see why Pruitt must be different. For that matter, nobody here seems swayed away from his pre-formed opinion by the discussion.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        She demonstrated that he could not answer her allegations and his refusal to engage with a constituent. She likely inched the ball up the court toward Pruitt’s eventual firing.

        • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          I think she demonstrated that, as we say, she lacks “the first 7 years” (i.e. basic upbringing). If I were Pruitt, I’d think that it is very natural that the trash is against me.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Cops, civil servants and postal workers are paid from by the public too. Do you own them?

      Does my employer have the right to harass me when I am not at work?

      • yazikus
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        If I encountered the new heard of USPS, who was engaging in a deliberate campaign of Not Delivering The Mail ®, I would very likely have some words for them. This is not the same as a staffer, cop or postal worker.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          +1

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        We stopped “owning” people in the US with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.

        Took a whole lotta protesting, resulting in more than a few wrecked meals (not to mention a Civil War) to get there.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Chief of police, Postmaster General etc., yes.

  28. yazikus
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Slightly different, but this brings to mind my former state representative. She was quite accessible, and had a booth most weekends at the Farmer’s Market. I’d see her at the grocery store often, and snag her arm to ask her a question about pending legislation and the like. I emailed now and then as well, and always got a response from her (not an aide, I could tell). Was what I was doing (by approaching her as she went about her day) outside the bounds of civility as described in this post? She never told me to stop, was always gracious, genial and honest. She was also a Republican, and one I voted across the aisle for for years.

    • yazikus
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Another thought, when working in an industry with a specifically busy season I tended to stay low for a few months of the year. If I did go out to eat, to the store, to the park, there was a good chance I’d run into a client who was ‘eagerly’ awaiting their returns. Sometimes less civilly than others. This was just the nature of the beast, if you will.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Bingo.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Back when I was a youngster, The Ohio State University had a football coach name o’ Woody Hayes — arguably the highest-profile coach in the nation then. I never cared much for Woody’s grind-it-out gridiron philosophy, much less his politics (he was butthole buddies with Dick Nixon). But alone among high-line coaches, Woody always kept his telephone number listed. Anybody wanted to could look him up & give him a call (this was long before answering machines, or caller ID, or cell phones). Woody himself would answer the phone and give the caller a couple minutes to get whatever it was they wanted to say off their chest, whether it was “why the hell don’t you throw the ball more?” or “Nixon sucks!”

      That, I always admired about the guy.

    • mordacious1
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      If she was having lunch with a friend and you barged up and gave her a piece of your mind about something you were mad about…yes, very uncivil, no matter how approachable she was.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        ???Something you were mad about??? Everything Pruitt does and stands for (he’s a dominionist) should be something any normal person would be mad about. He doesn’t think global warming/climate change exists because only g^d can decide those things. He and Trump are the perfect examples of something you should be ‘mad’ about.

        When I’m not ‘mad’ about a public government official with immense power destroying the environment by promoting pollution all in the name of g*d, please kill me.

  29. Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Has everyone who approves of this action voted? taken part in a voter registration drive? If not, shame on you

    “I can’t see anything wrong with publicly confronting public officials about public matters in a public place.”

    Three things. (1) He is eating as a private person, off duty

    2)Trumpists love this sort of thing. Makes us look at once silly, sanctimonious, and oppressive, feeding his supporters’ sense of grievance

    3) It feeds the distractathon. We’re talking about what the limits are to good manners in a restaurant when we should be talking about the suppression of climate science, subsidising coal, and duties on solar panels.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I have.
      Now what?

    • Diane G
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      I am always surprised at the number of educated, ostensibly concerned, up-on-the-issues people I know or know of who end up giving some flimsy excuse for not voting the day after the election.

      (OTOH, if you’re in a red state that you know will go to Trump, it does seem pretty futile…)

      • Posted July 4, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Futility still isn’t an excuse for not trying.

        • Diane G
          Posted July 6, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Something we agree on! 🙂

        • Wunold
          Posted July 7, 2018 at 1:56 am | Permalink

          Especially since it’s almost always apparent futility at best.

          That said, always remember the Vulcan saying, “optimism doesn’t alter the laws of physics”. 😉

  30. Pliny the in Between
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  31. Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Coyne, I respect you immensely and read this page every day during lunch. However, with the environment potentially on the tipping point, why should we be civil to those actively trying to destroy it? Would you be civil if the situation were easier to imagine and faster acting than climate change? Say if an asteroid were careening towards Earth and the head of the “Destroy Asteroids with Nukes” committee was against destroying asteroids with nukes, you’d just advise people to sit idly by and use the proper channels to air grievances? Perhaps, in this instance, you aren’t viewing climate change seriously enough.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I will step in here because I suspect many here are missing PCC’s point, which I agree with. There is something to be said for civility. There is the wrong place and the right place to do things. Standing in the middle of a restaurant bothering someone while eating is not the place. It is also not likely to be well accepted by the recipient.

      On another note, this guy is a pathetic person that should not be in the job. The blame is on Trump. The blame is on the republicans who will not pressure Trump to remove him. He currently has many investigations into his swamp activities including using staff to find jobs for his wife. What he does everyday concerning the environment is disgusting. BUT, going at him in a eating place accomplishes nothing. You would be far better to plant a tree.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        + 1

  32. Denis Westphalen
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, after reading some comments here, it seems that many people will be fine if creationists confront you in a restaurant!

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      And Jerry, as someone who publicly discusses the subject should be aware that this could happen and handle it accordingly.
      He’s got suitable channels for discussion, and responds to emails pretty regularly.
      Therefore, I’d expect if that happens in a place Jerry feels is inappropriate, he can invite the person to bring up their issues in a more appropriate forum. Or he can just ask them to leave.
      Pruitt did neither as far as we can tell from this confrontation.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      If Jerry cancelled his office hours and refused to communicate by telephone or email with students in a class he was teaching, I doubt he’d be surprised if some of them approached him in a restaurant.

    • nicky
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I would have no problem with that at all. On the contrary, I cherish these occasions!

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Umm, yes. What would be the point of making creationists think they have a point?

    • Posted July 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  33. Curtis
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    What would you think if EVERY cabinet member who ever supported abortion subjected to calmly being called a murderer in front of his/her children? Should Tim Geithner have been called a tax cheat felon every time he ate lunch? Should Janet Reno have been called a murderer?

    One of things I abhor about Trump is his lack of civility. Unfortunately, he seems to be an inspiration for progressives.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      You think this confrontation compares to Trump’s lack of civility? This wasn’t even uncivil.

      • Curtis
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        I think people supporting confronting politicians at restaurants are supporting minor incivility. And, yes, I think many progressive are becoming extremely uncivil.

        Progressives scream at conservative speakers. Evergreen students harangue their president and exile a liberal teacher. In my state of Oregon, they are blocking an ICE office which is considered “woke”. When the rightist took over the Malheur wildlife refuge, the progressives were, rightly, aghast.

        To repeat “What would you think if EVERY cabinet member who ever supported abortion subjected to calmly being called a murderer in front of his/her children?”

        • yazikus
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          n my state of Oregon, they are blocking an ICE office which is considered “woke”. When the rightist took over the Malheur wildlife refuge, the progressives were, rightly, aghast.

          That parallel has not gone unnoticed among the people/newfolks I follow. Except it took 41 days to get something done about Malheur, not the three or four it took PDX.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Are the people protesting ICE armed? Would seem to be a significant difference, IMO.

          • yazikus
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            That and they haven’t broken in, used the facilities, stolen personal goods from the offices of the ICE workers (Dr. Beck’s raven still brings out my ire), used the property as a weapsons cache and shooting range, vandalized government property and causing the local schools to be shut down.

          • Curtis
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Are you saying it is civil to prevent people from going to work as long as you are unarmed?

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        It’s this collapsing of distinctions that gets my goat. Her response was not at all uncivil. If the tables were turned (no pun intended), I shudder to think how a member of Trump’s base would respond.

        • Curtis
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Pruitt and Sander’s actions were both civil. I am pretty sure I would not react as nicely.

          My wife yelled at a reporter for trying to interview my teenage son yesterday. People are, and should be, protective of their children.

          I used to live in the DC area and it never occurred to me to approach the public figures I saw in parks or restaurants. It would have been rude.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      And if those cabinet members were prepared with the MANY, MANY arguments for abortion rights such calm disruptions would eventually disappear and the members’ children would understand the entire argument and why many people do not consider abortion to be anything like murder.

      (Come to think of it, maybe that’s why that doesn’t happen too often anymore.)

      • Curtis
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Imagine when we reach the stage where, in front of their children, pro-Choice politicians are routinely called murderers and anti-abortion politicians are called anti-women. Is this a good thing?

        I am a libertarian atheist which means I am regularly insulted as greedy, uncaring by both sides.

        • yazikus
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          in front of their children, pro-Choice politicians are routinely called murderers and anti-abortion politicians are called anti-women.

          We are already there. Anti-choicers have no qualms about talking about ‘baby-murdering’ in front of people or their children. They have no qualms setting up gruesome displays to confront people going about their day. They sometimes even murder abortion doctors. Have you volunteered as a clinic escort? You’ll find not all the ‘sidewalk evangelists’ are civil.

          • Curtis
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            “Anti-choicers have no qualms about talking about ‘baby-murdering’ in front of people or their children.” Do you approve of the method of protest? Not the message but the method?

            There is a difference between protesting at a workplace (abortion clinic or the EPA) and in a restaurant. One method I strongly support and one I dread.

            I do not know of any pro-choice politicians being harassed at a restaurant but I am guessing I will in the next month.

            • yazikus
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

              Whether or not I approve, they are already doing those things. To say that this sort of confrontation will cause the right to engage in those tactics is just wrong.

              There is a difference between protesting at a workplace (abortion clinic or the EPA) and in a restaurant.

              How is harassing a diner in a restaurant(which I don’t think was the case here) not similar to harassing a client trying to get into the clinic for a service she is paying for?
              What about the pharmacist who refused to fill a prescription for a miscarrying mother, making her explain in detail, in front of her other child what was happening, only to have him still refuse her medication? Was that civil?
              Maybe, just maybe, when people dining with people like Pruitt stand up like this he’ll realize he and the administration are not actually supported and adored. That people who are like him (and eat where he eats!) object to him might actually make a difference.

              • Curtis
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

                I do not approve incivility including harassing people.

                I approve of non-violent protests at the work place or the public space. I do not approve of actions where people have the expectation of privacy – home, restaurant, etc. I am not calling for making it illegal, I just don’t care for rudeness.

                If the leftists do it today, the rightists will do it tomorrow.

                In the past, I use to have productive conversations with people I disagree with at work including Creationists. I do not talk current event at my current job because it’s not worth it.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

                The rightists will do it tomorrow?

                Where have you been living the past few decades?

  34. Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  35. yazikus
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I rather like this quote from Eric Weinstein on the topic:

    Disagree. Civility is important precisely b/c of the importance of incivility when it finally comes from civil people. Civility is a tool. I agree w/ @RubinReport that offering civility & reason when others are chasing utopian fever dreams w/ outrage is powerful. But I will not wed myself to civility. If one announces that the proper place for a sword is in its sheath, rattling it has no power.

    • Diane G
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful quote, but I don’t think it does anything to resolve our disagreement here. As a pro-civility person, I think it quite applies to us! 🙂

      I.e., this does not tell us when the “now rattle sword” line is crossed.

  36. Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Shaming Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a restaurant? Why bother, she’s paid to repeat lies. But Pruitt? Getting a lot closer. What if it were Dick Cheney in the restaurant? (He’s really high on my list of loathsomeness.) He’s no longer a “public servant,” so does he get a pass?

    And when is it appropriate to confront a public figure anyway? Before s/he enters the restaurant? After? If protestor had held up a sign outside the restaurant announcing that he’s inside, is that OK? What if she organized a group of friends to shout “Shame” (or something) when he exits?

    Is 12 people folk outside the restaurant a legitimate protest, but one person is not?

    Not that I’m likely to run into these folks, but this in/civil debate is new territory, since DJT “jumped the shark” in politics. And an actual bully runs the bully pulpit.

  37. Lee
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    “As I said recently, I can’t imagine Martin Luther King approving of this as a political tactic, or doing it himself.”

    Of course he wouldn’t. He fought smart, not stupid. We need to be fighting Stupid, not stupid, if you catch my drift.

    We need to be winning allies, not giving the enemy ammunition; and the ammunition is in the form of pictures and images, humans being visual reasoners as they are. The media pictures from the Civil Rights era (police clubbing peaceful protesters etc) roused the empathy of much of the hitherto uninvolved nation. The sight of a mom reading a list of grievances to a restaurant patron will not have that effect, I’m afraid. It will just turn people off.

    When I see “our” side behaving short-sightedly and stupidly, I lose hope again.

    And recently, anytime I hear of Dr. Myers rubbing his hands with glee I cringe.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      So what kind of pictures do you think we need to sway someone like Pruitt or Trump? Babies drowning in floods–yeah that’ll do it. Let’s get pics of that to show them.

      Pictures of dying coral reefs or excessive drought or long fire seasons don’t really seem to be doing the job now, do they?

      • Lee
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Do you think the mom reading her list of complaints will persuade Trump or Pruitt? NOTHING will persuade them. It’s not them I’m concerned about. It’s the bulk of mainstream Americans who don’t follow what’s going on as closely as you or I, but who respond to the images they see and the stories they hear repeated on mass media.

        Before Dr. King got involved in a huge way in civil rights, he went to India to study with Mohandas Gandhi. He educated himself about how to channel his rage into productive action. Now our country is filled with millions of enraged people who want to head to the streets to “do something about all this” without understanding that our enemies know mass psychology and media control far better than we do, and that THEY ARE DELIGHTED WHEN THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENS.

        People were deeply moved by the sight of civil rights protestors in the 60s – those who took actual personal risks, like being clubbed by police as they peacefully defied unjust laws. Do you think they’re going to be moved by the sight of a mom reading her list of complaints to a restaurant patron? I personally think more people won’t be impressed. I wish they were.

        At the risk of lapsing to my bible-soaked religious days, I think of the words of Paul:
        “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We’re up against billionaires, media empires, Russian oligarchs, social media malefactors like Cambridge Analytica. Look to the masters like Gandhi, Dr. King and others for guidance. Don’t think just being outraged and controntational, even for good cause, is enough. These guys know jiu jitsu.

        I think we’re on the same side. I just want us to fight smart. I studied martial arts for years, and know that if you can get your opponent to start swinging wildly, if you can get them to lose control, you’ve won the match. That, I fear, is what is happening.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          You had me, up until that bible stuff.

          • Lee
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            The passage I used is apt, I think — I wasn’t being religious at all. There is great metaphor throughout the bible. Lots of people, raised religious like I was (and am no longer) would get the allusion. I understand that not all people would, however, and that many reasonable people would be turned off by it. It takes awhile to get used to different audiences, just like it takes time to de-convert from religion. 🙂

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

              ‘A soft answer turneth away wrath’

              😉

              cr

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Again with the Saint Dr. King and the “I know he wouldn’t approve” crap. Don’t you see how similar that garbage is to Trump’s MAGA slogans? Things were different in the past, Gandhi and King had to respond and protest differently then. Confronting someone in a restaurant (like Mink did Pruitt) might have gotten a black man killed then–and sadly, still often does.

          So, what actually would the “masters” do today? What would be the equivalent of fighting smart in the Trump era?

          You must have some ideas…
          Don’t you?

          • Lynn Wilhelm
            Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Just to be absolutely clear, I am not disparaging King’s reputation, I’m disparaging those who now use his work as the gold standard for all modern-day attempts to change the minds of those in power.

            It’s funny how the critics of King’s tactics sounded a lot like the critics of Mink and others who are trying to stand up against what they see as wrong today. Stop it, please just stop it!

            • Lee
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

              Dr. King got something right. If we don’t learn from what he did right, that’s our mistake. But I’m more concerned about how Trump et al regard all this. If they’re delighted (as I suspect they are) we’re doing something wrong. If large numbers people are embarrassed and turned off by the restaurant incidents (I suspect they are), we’re doing something wrong. I’m waiting to hear.

              “Stop it, please just stop it!” No. We need these kinds of discussions. The stakes are too high to shut down people with different viewpoints who care about the same things. Sorry.

              • Lynn Wilhelm
                Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry, but you still haven’t provided any concrete ideas about how to “wrestle … against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
                You simply keep saying this way’s wrong.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Remember that it’s voters who need to be swayed, not Pruitt or Trump. (I mean, you could try that, Sisyphus could probably spare a rock…)

        Have you ever listened to right-wing radio and the things they say about liberals? Kind of OT, I agree, except to the point that giving them grist for their mills is not exactly beneficial in the long run, many of us here believe.

        And it seems that just as many here support your take on the issue. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree. (I’ll bet that’s been said more than once in this thread!)

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Pruitt, like Brutus, is an honorable man …

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I can, easily; however, this is nothing but second-guessing the dead, a futile endeavor.

      Sit-ins were far more intrusive to white diners’ ability to eat in peace, and in effect publicly shamed all of them as well as the owner of the establishment and its reputation. Her act doesn’t even rise to the level of civil disobedience. And do you think Scott Pruitt is ever going to have a Town Hal and engage the people he’s screwing over, i.e., us? Hell, no. Hell will freeze over first.

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Thank you!

    • GBJames
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Kind of captures it, IMO.

    • Lee
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      IMO, the actions of Trump and his ilk not only justify incivility, they justify life imprisonment, or worse. These are evil men. If I am justified in shouting at them, getting in their face, why am I not justified in punching them in the face (a question floating around the internet of late), or worse? Where do you draw the line, and what is your rationale for doing so? Punching Nazis is easy; All it takes is outrage and a hot head. Acting strategically to try to win hearts and minds, to heal the extreme polarization of our times, to keep good people from losing hope, to work together to fight fascism, is hard. Of that I am pretty sure.

      I believe there are many people doing things right in the fight against the evils of our time. Here are some things that seem really promising: Keeping the pictures of the people harmed by this administration’s policies in the media cycles and on social networks. Give financial support to the ACLU and others fighting on the legal end; keep the lawsuits coming. Fund truth-oriented journalism. Fund humanitarian outreach efforts to immigrants. Write letters to the editor (sounds hokey but it actually helps, if lots of good people do it). Join with others in the resistance. Be ready, when the time comes, to take to the streets in protest, to support boycotts. Get politically active- support good candidates; go door to door. VOTE. Just a few ideas.

      IMO the really hard question is how to fight against the extreme polarization which the evildoers actively promote and use to increase their power. That means self-education, reaching out to people with differing views, bridge-building.

      In spite of what I said earlier, I am still not sure whether the restaurant incidents were a good idea, bad idea, or neutral. I’m just voicing my doubts, and appreciate hearing differing opinions. I really want to learn how to do my part for truth and justice in the world.

  38. Posted July 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Please abide by the guideline that no person should make comments that are more than 10-15% of a thread.

    • Lee
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I might be guilty here. I apologize if I am.

  39. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    In other breaking Scott Pruitt news, CNN just broke the story that Pruitt pitched Trump to shitcan Attorney General Jeff Sessions so Pruitt could have his job. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems a bit, well, uncivil.

    But, hey, least nobody had to endure manducus interruptus.

  40. Genghis
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    A restaurant is not a public place, it is a private, commercial place frequented by members of the public.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Of course restaurants are public places…that’s why the police can come in and arrest an underage drinker. They couldn’t do that in a private place.

      • Mark R.
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        By private place I mean someone’s home.

        • Diane G
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          I knew of several underage drinking parties that were raided by police, back in the day. I was even at one of them (sitting in a closet, covered with clothes from the hangers…).

          All they need is some pretext…(Ken’s gonna jump in and say, “and a search warrant,” but I believe there are circumstances when that isn’t necessary. Or at least, when the cops can trump up something sufficiently convincing.)

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:53 am | Permalink

            This is me jumping in. 🙂

            There’s an “exigent circumstance” exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement for emergency public safety situations. Law enforcement may also enter if they are in “hot pursuit” of a criminal suspect. They also do not need a warrant if a person with a possessory interest in the premises consents to their entry.

            • Diane G
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:56 am | Permalink

              Thanks, Ken!

            • Diane G
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:58 am | Permalink

              PS: “possessory interest?”–ya gotta love the law…

  41. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    If Winston Smith ever caught out Big Brother in public, would it be uncivil to confront him about the war with Eastasia?

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Don’t know, but it would win him a one way trip to the cellars of the Ministry of Love.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like what a second Trump term might be like.

        • Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          All the more important, then, to do what is best to make sure he doesn’t get a second term, even if it means resisting the understandable urge to moon Trump and his supporters in his first term.

  42. Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I fully support the woman’s actions.

    Furthermore isn’t it redolent of control leftism to declare what sort of peaceful public protest is permissible and what isn’t.
    Doesn’t square with some of the views on free speech espoused by this site.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      The controversy is over whether this kind of protest is a good idea, not whether it is legal. Still, I’m guessing that a restaurant owner has the right to eject the protester, protestee, or both.

  43. peterdvm
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Do you think if ten thousand (or ten million) of us write letters to Scott Pruitt that any of them will get through?

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      He would simply paper his cone of silence with them.

  44. Harrison
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve given fellow liberals crap for some of the more extreme and strategically inept things done simply as a way to virtue signal and vent their personal frustrations, but I honestly do think that confronting a public servant in public and simply reciting a list of grievances doesn’t cross the line.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Agree…I think liberals should learn from her example.

  45. Posted July 3, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    If I had the opportunity I would probably challenge him too, how often does an Average Joe look across the restaurant and see a public official? But I would try to debate him respectfully to try and change hide mind, (and then leave him to eat in peace before the food appeared,) rather than reading a cringy page long speech. (Even though he’s probably a sociopath and debating him is pointless. )

  46. RRR
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Well said, Dr Coyne. Thanks.

    We have become a nation of middle schoolers…

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Why is a concerned citizen, concerned about her child’s future and concerned about one of the most important issues of our time, who uses facts to chastise a man who is effectively destroying any foothold the US has gained in combating climate change a “middle schooler”. Whose side are you on?

  47. eric
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    You know where this all is going. Given that this kind of shaming is widely publicized by the media, it’s going to lead to copycat confrontations in which liberals feel free to harass conservatives in public.

    I don’t necessarily think it’s going anywhere. People hated Clinton. People hated Bush II. People hated Obama. Nothing like this was done to their appointees. Why? Because Trump’s cabinet and actions are truly exceptional in US politics.

    Yes, this could be the beginning of a slippery slope of verbally attacking appointees in public. Or it may just be an anomaly of the Trump administration. We’ll have to see in a few years. Right now I think concluding this is ‘slippery slope’ rather than ‘unusual response to unusual circumstances’ is premature. My guess is it wouldn’t happen to a future Jeb Bush or Kasich administration, and it probably wouldn’t happen to a future Warren or Biden (or take your pick) administration.

    • Posted July 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think Trump’s cabinet and actions are so exceptional; rather, I find some of his opponents exceptional. From day 1 after Trump was elected, before he had any cabinet or actions, I have read talk about how to bring him down.

      • tomh
        Posted July 12, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        If you don’t think Trump’s actions are exceptional, then you’re not very familiar with America or American history.

  48. Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Bottom line: this was yet another example of what Stephen Fry noted — the Left’s propensity to prefer being right over being effective.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      And we can’t do both at the same time? Nothing done to Pruitt was ineffective. All evidence to the contrary. This post has garnered over 300 comments. We can be right and effective and we will.

      Like you said earlier today…we’ll see come November. I’m optimistic…sorry you’re not.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        I guess you figure this stunt will somehow inspire more Dems to vote in November, and/or more independents to vote Dem, while not inspiring either more Gops to turn out or indies to vote GOP.

        I’ve been active in political campaigns stretching way back, and I don’t see it.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        And seriously, a few dozen lefties at a lefty website debating the effectiveness of this stunt is no gauge of its impact on the general electorate.

      • Diane G
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see how we can say there is any evidence in, yet.

  49. Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I believe the woman’s behavior could be said to constitute disorderly conduct. We all have a right to go about our business including sitting in a restaurant without bring harassed. That is how society gets along and survives. We each respect each other right of privacy and right to be left alone. I don’t know if this conduct is effective or not but I fin’t believe it should be allowed. Call it disorderly conduct, harassment or an invasion of privacy, it should be recognized as illegal.

    • eric
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Well, she didn’t throw a punch, wasn’t drunk and loud, and didn’t disrupt a march or concert or other gathering. AFAIK none of the other patrons were disturbed by her. So maybe but maybe not.

      My completely nonlegal guess is that the police would likely be willing to remove her and charge her with that if the restaurant manager called them over her behavior, but they wouldn’t necessarily do it if a customer called them over it and the restaurant said she wasn’t being disorderly.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        If the police were present they would make their own determination.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Illegal? Please…I don’t have the energy to refute. You’re just wrong.

      • Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        No, I am right and you are wrong. You just don’t realize it yet.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Oh boy…school-age put downs. Fine.

          In my state, here is what constitutes disorderly conduct:

          (1) A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if the person:
          (a) Uses abusive language and thereby intentionally creates a risk of assault;
          (b) Intentionally disrupts any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority;
          (c) Intentionally obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic without lawful authority; or
          (d)(i) Intentionally engages in fighting or in tumultuous conduct or makes unreasonable noise, within five hundred feet of:
          (A) The location where a funeral or burial is being performed;
          (B) A funeral home during the viewing of a deceased person;
          (C) A funeral procession, if the person described in this subsection (1)(d) knows that the funeral procession is taking place; or
          (D) A building in which a funeral or memorial service is being conducted; and
          (ii) Knows that the activity adversely affects the funeral, burial, viewing, funeral procession, or memorial service.
          (2) Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor.

          In my state sir, you are wrong. Don’t know where you live and I don’t care. My comment stands and is correct.

          • Posted July 3, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Got you to respond didn’t I. Other charges may apply. People have a right to be left alone.

            • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

              Moving goalposts.

              • Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

                Read my first post. Other opinions were included to which no response was made.

            • Mark R.
              Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

              “People have a right to be left alone.”

              So they say…mimes think differently. I’m on the side of mimes.

            • eric
              Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

              People have a right to be left alone.

              So in your opinion, are abortion center protestors illegally violating the women who are seeking services’ right to be left alone?

              How about the gay couple who go in for a cake or license and get an earful or refusal of service from the vendor? Do they have a right to get that service and without the editorial commentary? And same question for a woman buying BC at a pharmacy? And let’s go back to the right-wing side of the equation: did the Charlottesville marchers (and Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis) have a right to march with no counter-protest? I.e. do they have a right to march while being left alone?

              I don’t buy into your argument that this is a right. But if I did, it would seem to me quite suspicious and hypocritical that Trump administrative personnel are only ‘discovering’ this right now that they are being bothered in public. The rest of us have been bothered in public (and done the bothering) for decades without a peep from conservatives about this so-called ‘right.’

              • Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

                Conservatives, like liberals tend to only defend rights when their on rights are being violated. Neither seem to speak up when the rights of the other side are violated.

                Just like I am concerned and speak out when I consider my rights to quietly eat a meal in a restaurant might be threatened. I like privacy and don’t like to be disturbed while eating. It is bad for the digestion and disturbing.

              • eric
                Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

                You didn’t answer any of my questions. Since you believe in a right ‘not to be disturbed,’ do you believe:

                1. Gays have a right to buy cakes without being disturbed by being turned away or commented on?
                2. Women seeking abortion have a right to walk up to a clinic without protestors disturbing them with their yelling?
                3. Women purchasing birth control have a right to buy it without being turned away or disturbed by a pharmacists’ comments?
                3. Nazis have a right to march down a street without being disturbed by counter-protestor chants?

                For that matter, here’s some more:
                4. Shop owners have a right to open their shop without being disturbed by Nazi marches?
                5. A vegan has a right to eat in a restaurant with you not disturbing them by eating meat where they can see it and smell it?

                Last one, true story, this just happened: I just walked in my local communities’ 4th of July parade. During it and the social time after, I was disturbed by 1 political candidate handing out fliers, 3 Mormon missionaries, and someone’s overexcited dog. Now, I’m being perfectly honest when I say I didn’t want to be bothered by any of these. I was conversing with friends, these others disturbed my quiet conversation and celebration of the holiday. So, were they illegally violating my right not to be disturbed?

  50. Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I think it was acceptable. She was civil. The restaurant owner’s incident was different imo because her business shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate, but I don’t think this is discrimination.

  51. Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I am undecided as to whether or not this is an acceptable move, but I will say that it’s hard to find the bad behavior in calmly pointing out someone else’s bad behavior.

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Bad behavior is a matter of opinion. Next time you may agree with the diner not the speaker. Then what?

      • Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Bad behavior is not always a matter of opinion. In fact, our penal system depends on bad behavior often being clearly and objectively bad. Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, engaged in objectively bad behavior. That is not up for grabs in the court of opinion.

        In the situation under discussion here, you’d have to be a climate change denialist and believe that caring for the environment is not important for our species’ well-being to think Pruitt’s actions aren’t bad. The science says his actions are bad.

        Nota bene: I have not just argued that what this woman did is completely acceptable; I am still undecided. I have only rebutted your claim that bad behavior is a matter of opinion.

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          You don’t believe that reasonable men can’t ever disagree on political issues. You examples were pretty one sided.

  52. Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    You are sitting at a restaurant with a coworker eating a meal. Someone approaches your table and starts reading a speech critizing policies of the company you work for and decisions you have made. Yo me that is not acceptable behavior.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you respond to Eric’s response to you above?

  53. Deni Pisani
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,
    While most on your site usually agree with you, when you posited your stance, I just knew that this time, it would not be so.

    I am with you (note, I am Australian, so different species).
    I am angered by his policies, but I also value some separation of confrontation.

    Ah, this confrontation is luckily captured on video. Yes, we have signalled her virtue. I’d be more sympathetic if she had confronted him and it was NOT recorded.
    Your points about people lining up to have a crack at him are valid. We accept one person politely confronting him, but where do we draw the line? Does this confrontation replace writing letters, voting, lobbying etc?

    I understand anger and frustration, but this servesd nothing. And I agree that I would love to see people we agree with confronted as ‘child killers’ for being pro-abortion etc. We seem to accept her confrontatin because we think he is in the wrong.

    So every single politician, public intellectual etc could just have a steady stream of people ranting at them (she did not rant) all day every day while they are out, with their families?

    Ah, it is so obvious, and I despair at the number of people agreeing with her actions. I know we FEEL like confronting these idiots. And we vicariously get pleasure from seeing her do what we would like to do.

    But we need to be better than confronting individuals like this when there are numerous other channels to do so. SO many ways. So many.

    Maybe not all get filmed. And liked. And shared.

    (Don’t post much – gee it’s hard to say what you really mean. Every word I write I see some flaws and second guess the aattacks on things I din’t really mean to say, or have over emphasised inadvertently. Need an essay to write clearly. This comment stuff is a skill. Still learning. Be gentle.)

    • Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Good comment. Misspeaking and taking your lumps is part of posting. See my exchanges above.

      • Deni Pisani
        Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        Ah, a seasoned veteran, I see.
        One lump or two?

        • Posted July 4, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          I like my tea and coffee with no sugar or cream. Don’t you think?

  54. Posted July 3, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I think everyone here wants desperately to see Trump and the spineless Republican Congress gone. We differ on tactics. I stand by my view that these shenanigans are highly counter-productive. We can’t stop folks from doing them, but we shouldn’t egg them on.

  55. Kurt Lewis Helf
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Civility worked so well for President Obama. Chamberlain would be proud.

  56. Diane G
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it does take all kinds of actions to appeal to every audience that needs to be appealed to. We obviously split pretty evenly (and passionately!) here on WEIT. (I’m wondering if the fault line is between extroverts and introverts? I’m the latter.)

    This reminds me so much of the old accomodationist arguments–passionate disagreements amongst those who otherwise share the same goals. IMO, this indicates that different (but well-intentioned) people see the same incident in different ways; perhaps the answer really is to try to put up with a range of tactics, knowing that some will be successful with audience A, some B, etc.

    (Cue Rodney King…)

    • Deni Pisani
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      I don’t often comment, but I like reading them.
      I always like yours the best – as they seem more balanced and have some principle and humanity in them. (Not trying to suckup – just thought you should know your words are often the most reasonable (doesn’t mean I always agree)).

      That said, I reckon in more ‘normal’ times, we would see more admonishing her actions. But there is anger and frustration at the core of those applauding her. I disagree with them, but I get it.

      What I can’t fathom, are the absolutists – not many discussing the pros and cons, but more ‘takig a side’.

      I always expect more here.

      (Don’t mind me – the cold Melbourne weather is making me grumpy…)

      • Diane G
        Posted July 6, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Why, thank you!

        “But there is anger and frustration at the core of those applauding her. I disagree with them, but I get it.”

        I get it, too. And yes, that’s the way to look at it–taking a side. And then arguing till you’re blue in the keyboard trying to prove that side A (or side B) is the one and only right one. Like this is debate class in High School. (And I’ve done it myself, sorry to say.)

        Seems there’s also something about the internet that frequently brings out the confrontational side of people…

  57. tomh
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    For all those who moan about the tactics of this woman, or that this isn’t effective it will rile up the Republicans, this wasn’t some designated proxy of the Democrats, it was a private citizen telling a presidential administration official of her disgust with the fact that the administration is destroying the environment and her child’s future. She wasn’t aiming to be part of a normal political process, she was reacting to extraordinary events with a simple action that was available to her. In the same way, the restaurant owner in Virginia, out of disgust with the fact that the administration is seizing children from their parents and locking them in cages, asked Sanders to leave her restaurant.

    These are not some political operatives, finely weighing the consequences of their actions, deciding which party might benefit and counting votes. These are private citizens, acting from the heart, in response to extraordinary crises. They are to be commended.

    • Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Commended for an emotional reaction with no concrete utility.

      This is why the Left is doomed to repeated failure.

      • tomh
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Aah, so that’s it. I wondered why “the Left” is doomed to failure, now I know.

  58. David Baca
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    I’m all for her tactics for we need to get up and close up personal. He’s a political hatchet man immune from being voted out of office. So how else are we to let him know how we feel.

    • Posted July 5, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Why does it matter if he knows how you feel?

  59. Posted July 4, 2018 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Speaking from the distance of Europe, I’d much rather see opponents of Trump in the US getting organized to win an election, rather than wasting their time with cathartic attempts at forcing policy changes. It just confirms their own powerlessness, impotence, and cluelessness about politics.

  60. Gabrielle
    Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I’ve been to Teasim, the restaurant where this incident took place. Pruitt was probably at the one near the White House, eating on a workday.
    The restaurant has a very ‘zen’ feel to it, with most of the offerings being organic/vegetarian/locally sourced etc, with the provenance of all the teas prominently displayed. The two times I’ve been there, a good 80-90% of the clientele were women, from 20-45 years old or thereabouts.
    This is to give some context to the environment (no pun intended) in which this all happened. It’s not the sort of place that a corrupt careerist like Pruitt would normally be found, but hey, maybe he likes specialty teas. Or he couldn’t find an industrial lobbyist to pay for his lunch this past Monday. Or because there’s no Chick-fil-a near the White House (Maybe his wife will open one.)
    Since Ms. Mink was polite and didn’t raise her voice, it was on a weekday in an area of Wash. D.C. with a high concentration of government buildings, involving a high-ranking government official who was not with his family, I have no problem with what she’s done.
    If it had been on a weekend, in an locale not associated with the government, when Pruitt was with his family, I would have more concerns with such a situation.

    • Gabrielle
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I spelled the name of the restaurant wrong – it is Teaism.

  61. Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    At this point, the discussion really isn’t just about her, it has the potential to be about us.

    What would other folks do in such a situation if you were a spectator, and the situation escalated? (Bodyguard shoves her, another patron starts to pull her away, etc.) Would you intervene? Would you try deescalation?

    Only two things I am sure of with myself: I would never confront anyone in front of their children; and, if either party laid hands on the other I would try to intervene.

    Not saying doing such would be safe, useful, prudent, or even welcomed by either party. But I would do it.

    Has anyone here thought about this?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted July 4, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I see two big items here :

      One is, as PCC(E) wrote, the _tactic_.

      The other is the details of the event.

      I found myself drawn into commenting on the second category, but on further thought, I think thats for another post.

      To recap:

      1. Tactic – this post.

      2. specific details of the event. For another time.

  62. Posted July 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I think there’s a subtle but important conflation between normative and the descriptive at play. Social media, like a “news”, has a biases toward the unusual which all too often gets discussed whether one should be engaging in it.

    You should not beset people in public as a general rule, but you may still do it within reason. Most of our behaviours follow convention, routines and culture. What is approriate at any given moment cannot be entirely cast in rules.

    With that said, complaining about behaviour we don’t like to see also serves the fuction to establish and reinforce the “hidden” rules of expected behaviour, and acts against the “normalization” of unsual behaviour as propagated by social media.

    This leads to the paradox, that what she did was not wrong, but at the same time, it’s not something I like to see as a rule.

  63. Jim Smith
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    The people who think a ‘public place’ is a privately owned restaurant are idiots. Will any of you give your personal addresses or addresses of work so random people can go to your ‘public place’ residence or ‘public place’ worksite ‘ to ‘disagree’ with you? Cause those places are as public as a restaurant is.

    • Jim Smith
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 12:50 am | Permalink

      This is all dog-whistling and you dog-whistlers should be as ashamed of yourselves. Stochastic terrorism. Terrorism by proxy.

      • GBJames
        Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        You have as cheap a definition of “terrorism” as it is possible to have.

      • Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Mr. Smith, you are out of line with your “idiots” remark, obviously addressed to a commenter here. Please apologize, read the roolz, and tone down your vituperation if you wish to post here further.

    • GBJames
      Posted July 5, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      When two people meet in a place that they are both entitled to be at and they have conversation, it is entirely legitimate. Even if the conversation is unwelcome by one of the parties.

      Thank you very much for calling me an idiot.

  64. mordacious1
    Posted July 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Mr Pruitt has resigned, so maybe now he can eat in peace.

  65. GBJames
    Posted July 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Five days late, but this just wandered across my screen and somehow it seemed relevant to this thread… I was going to vote Democrat this November until all this incivility forced me back on the Trump train.

  66. Posted July 12, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    When in doubt, I often resort to the good old Golden Rule. I am a teacher at a public university, so I guess some would call me a “public servant”. I also often use my blog to write about the dangers of not vaccinating. This draws the ire of many antivaxers, who regularly put trolling comments, cite phony “arguments” repeated and disproved umpteen times, and want to engage me in discussions that never lead anywhere.

    None of this crap has shaken my opinion a bit (nor do I intend to resign like Mr. Pruitt did). And I would be certainly pissed off if my antivaxer opponents started stalking me and lecturing me in restaurants. Especially if they held their children in their arms. (Of course, most antivaxers are young mothers like Ms. Mink, and all of their activism is for the sake of their children – to protect them from vaccine damage, or to protect other children because theirs, as they claim, have already been damaged).

    About Ms. Mink, I find very informative what someone reported above – that she took part in rallies in support of immigrants. Mr. Pruitt had no way to know this, but it is no secret to anyone that the same people who claim to worry very much about the climate also want massive immigration, which is expected to result in more carbon dioxide emissions. I think that this inconsistency fuels climate change denialism.


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