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« Shut up and dance | Main | USDA&P »

May 10, 2006


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There was apparently some confusion Tuesday as to the location of the Minuteman rally. After failing to secure permits for a rally at Phill G. McDonald governmental plaza, the group contacted Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Marcus Kindley for help securing a site downtown.

Kindley and Arthur said they had discussed holding the rally at American Furniture Warehouse on High Point Road. But the store's owner said he'd never heard of the group and hasn't authorized the event. -- N&R

Uh huh.

Fec Stench

We have a different set of problems than this group. I see no reason to ally with them.

Joe Killian

No, really Roch. Strange as it seems it's true.

I talked to the guy yesterday while reporting the story and he had no idea who the Minutemen were or any idea why they thought they were rallying at his store.

Today I've heard from the Minuteman Project that they have an agreement with the person who owns the parking lot, not the person who owns the building or runs the business.

It's confusing - but we'll see how it shakes out and whether the confusion will harm attendance tonight. I'll be there.


Ah, the old guy-who-owns-the-parking-lot deal. Thanks, Joe!

Joe Killian

You do have to wonder how the guy selling furniture's going to react to the people massing in his parking lot. I'll be sure to ask him.

Ryan R.

Apparently it's not happening now... the furniture store says they had no idea about it and never gave their approval.

WFMY Story

Joe Killian

That was yesterday's news.

Actually...one of the guys who owns the property gave approval for the group to meet there because he was told they were a church group and learned that wasn't true from the N&R story this morning. He doesn't want to be associated with the group and has made it clear they can't meet in his parking lot.

Update and quotes from the actual guy at the N&R here. Follow up story tomorrow.

Connie Mack Jr.

A Minuteman spokesman is coy about the possibility that members of the caravan are armed.* Ed

Ask by the media why a used M-1 Abrams Super Battle tank was in the parking lot. The spokesman simply said that a group of legal Saints from God appear with it last night with the title free and clear from the Iraq Government and the Haliburton Corporation.

Joe Killian

Also, a section of that WFMY report was cribbed from my reporting yesterday with no attribution.

Jim Caserta

I knew I had heard about this before:
Maybe he knows what happened.

Ryan R.

Sounds like something they'd do...

They said on the air that the ISO confirmed they were still holding their event, even if the Minutemen cancelled.

Joe Killian

Just got off the phone with Jim Gilchrist, the co-founder of the Minuteman Project. He tells me they're looking for private property and, after all, do want to press on with the rally.

No word on where or when yet.

I'm following it.

Jonathan Jones

"Also, a section of that WFMY report was cribbed from my reporting yesterday with no attribution."

Joe, it looks like a version of your story moved on the wire this morning.

That means attributing information to the Associated Press, as is at the bottom of that WFMY report, is OK. It may not feel good, but it's not worth getting mad about.

Now when someone starts ripping off something that didn't move on the wire, or not even crediting the AP if it did, you should get mad.

Ed Cone

WFMY has a little history in this area...

Jonathan Jones

I know they do, Ed. But it's cases like those that are worth getting mad over.

Like it or not, WFMY put an AP tag on that story -- at least when I saw it they did -- and it looks like a version of Joe's story moved on the wire.

I don't like hearing my stories read verbatim over the air any more than the next guy does, but I wouldn't pick on WFMY for a situation like this one.

Once it's on the wire, it's fair game. It might be bad form, but it's fair game.

Jim Caserta

I was just across from the furniture store at the Greensboro Batting Center, and there was an assembly of roughly 20 or 30 people waving flags, and then about 4-6 people with a Minutemen get the Hell out of NC banner. About 5-10 cops to. Sure more will come out of this.


'"We were told that they were some sort of church group on a mission, and we agreed to let them stop here," Rose said'

I wonder who told them that?

Joe Killian

Just got back from the Minuteman Project rally - which ended up going on, in some fashion, after all. The crowd at its peak was probably 200 people, evenly divided between supporters and detractors of the Minuteman Project. A lot of passion on both sides and they stood across High Point Road from one another expressing it.

Full story tomorrow in the N&R.

Joe Killian

Jonathan -- you're absolutely right and I was in error. I'm working nights now and didn't realize it had moved on the AP wire this morning. WFMY's history with lifting things verbatim lead to my jumping the gun.Will reserve my indignation for when it's really necessary.


Rick Rose ... "We were told that they were some sort of church group on a mission, and we agreed to let them stop here."

Give me a break, what rock has this guy been hiding under to make a statement like that? He would have had to be living on Mars for the past year, not to have heard of and know who were The Minutemen.

Duck and cover! Duck and cover!

Fred Gregory

Nice nothing discussion about nothing at least what the MM are all about or must we assume that they are bad people , to be shouted down by the usual krowd of krazies. You tell us straight Joe cuz I am sure your personal feelings will not creep into the story . I guess you missed it Ed but I trust you had the same feelings of pride that you experienced on May First.. you know families expressing their point of view ..waving the stars and stripes etc. I guess ?

Joe Killian


You'd be surprised how many people, as I reported this story, had no clue who the Minutemen are. I was.


I don't really have any strong personal feelings about the Minute Men. My first day story was straight, the group felt good and its opponents felt good about it and I was able to pleasantly and productively interact with both sides. Tomorrow's story won't be as long as I wish it could have been - there was so much I wanted to get in that ended up getting cut for space - but it will be straight I don't anticipate either side having much of a problem with it.

Fred Gregory


I know you must feel disappointed when what you think is worthwhile copy gets file 13 to make for space to cover say, like, a press conference by Lt.Hinson's mother when the reporter, photographer and the subject are the only ones present. Sorry day when this crap passes for B1 news.


Joe Killian

Dear Fred:

I'm pretty sure my story was A1 - I'm just grousing about having to adjust to writing spot news after having written features for a few months now. The skill-set is essentially the same - it's just a matter of having to do everything faster, shorter and more rigorously.

sean coon

fred, the minutemen are free to speak, but they're still a bunch of reactionary racists.

and today is so similar to may 1:
families meeting in *the state they live and are hired to work by north carolina citizens* vs *a caravan of men with rifles trying to take the law into their own hands*

ed, you should be ashamed of your perspective. /sarcasm

Fred Gregory

I was wondering when some one would slither out from beneath a rock and shout " Racists " , Surely Swan did not disappoint us. That actually is lower than whale excrement. There ought to be a variant of Godwin's law just for anything you say, Sean.

Ed Cone




Jim Caserta

There are civil and criminal violations commited by immigrants. It appears that crossing the border is a civil offense - like reneging on a contract. Fraud is where the criminal offenses start. It is ironic that the minutemen are prosecuting the civil violations and not doing anything about the criminal ones - which include employers who make a habit of hiring illegal immigrants.

An alien’s unauthorized presence within the United States — i.e., being an “illegal alien” — is not a crime in and of itself.[20] [20] Legislation has been introduced in the 109th Congress to make unauthorized presence a crime. See H.R. 4437, § 203 (as introduced) (2005). However, many types of immigration-related document fraud that may facilitate an alien’s entry into or continued presence within the United States are criminal offenses.


some common civil violations

Jim Caserta

Fred, why don't you educate us, or link to a MM website?

Jim Caserta

Sorry, Ed had one right at the top of the post.

sean coon

sorry to disappoint, fred, but i don't live under a rock. i use my real name, link to my site and am active/visible in the greensboro community. anytime you'd like to have a face to face conversation, feel free to stop by the blogsboro meetup.

the minutemen have been pulling in extremists since their inception. while most americans debate the issues (as on this blog) to eventually pressure our representatives to move in a particular direction, others quit their day jobs (if they have one), grab firearms and head to the border to take the law into their own hands.

that move wouldn't draw out the worst element from our society, now would it?


"It appears that crossing the border is a civil offense - like reneging on a contract."

To the best of my knowlege, that's not true. It is a misdemeanor type offense carrying misdemeanor penalties, not civil penalties. Illegal presence is a civil matter. Misdemeanors, by definition, are a crime, and those who illegally enter this country have clearly criminalized themselves.

Ginger Bush

Sean calling people racists, this has a familiar ring to it. And Ed Cone on the wagon too, no surprise there. Care to list any sites that have a balanced, objective view Ed, for those of us who don't know a lot about the group

Sean and I had a little discourse on his site regarding a post he originally attributed to Farrakhan followed by the lyrics to a song by Rap group Public Enemy.

The group Farrakhan heads is listed as a black separatist group, a hate group, racists, by the SPLC, as are, I believe, the Minutemen. I asked Sean how he felt about Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam and he quickly switched gears, attributed the quote to Jesse Jackson, avoided the question, and wanted to end the discussion.

He never did answer directly what he thought about the nation of Islam, just gave a lot of mumble jumble about what others thought of them, what he’d heard, then banned me from his site after his brother got nasty and I wrote in response "Welcome Greensboro, to the Coon family."

So, does he support racism while condemning it in others? How does he feel about black separatism? The nation of Islam? As a matter of public record, where do you stand on this, Sean? How about you, Mr. Cone?

Ed Cone

I responded to a comment that mocked the very idea that the Minutemen movement could have any racist component by providing links to contrary evidence. I had already linked to the Minutemen's own site. If you have something to add, Ginger, besides your gripes about getting banned from another site, feel free to add it.

Not sure what you are asking me in the last graf.

Fred Gregory


Is this some sort of challege to a duel or other form of physical combat 1979 style ? You are starting to sound like that loony tunes John Ross Hendrix.


Fred, nice personal attack there. BTW, are you still feeling comfy dismissing concerns about the overreach of government surveillance? Anything in the news bothering you yet?

Ginger Bush

I commented to Sean because his comment was made here Ed, and illustrates that he's very adept at calling others racists but refuses to qualify his own opinions about racist groups when the question is posed. I think that's pretty relevant to this discussion.

I haven't read extensively enough about the Minutemen to make a judgment as to whether they are a racist organization or not.

One link you provide states that these neo-natazi's showed up at a Florida rally, they weren't members of the Minutemen. Guilt by association, I suppose? Also in this link, Californian Minuteman Jim Chase is quoted, saying "while he turns away people he considers extremists, he has been running into people conducting their own patrols who are not with his group" and that it is "scary" from the standpoint of these are people who have not gone through me to pledge to be nonracist and nonviolent."

Orcinus finishes his thoughts in this with the following statement:

"Somehow, getting that official Minuteman certification doesn't exactly seem like an ironclad guarantee against racism and violence, either.

But then, movements like these, borne of racial scapegoating in the first place, are always going to attract those kinds of supporters. It's in their nature."

So, the call for immigration reform is born of racial scapegoating rather than the problems illegal immigration creates? And I suppose it follows that those that support it are racists??

Fred Gregory


If you are talking about the minning of telephone numbers, absolutly comfortable. It is 100% legal. I am going to link this not knowing if you will take the time to read it but here goes:

What We Don't Know Will Hurt Us


"BTW, are you still feeling comfy dismissing concerns about the overreach of government surveillance? Anything in the news bothering you yet?"

"Overreach of government surveilance"?

Sure, Roch.

Nice overreaction.

Here's why:



"And now, we're supposed to be offended when the government data-mines third-party phone records. This doesn't involve eavesdropping, but merely running these millions of phone numbers and tens of millions of phone contacts through some kind of computer analysis."



"Liberals are jumping up and down about USA Today's publication of another leak relating to the National Security Agency. It's considered a news flash that the NSA is collecting data on phone calls, with the cooperation of almost all of the major telecom companies, to look for suspicious patterns. This is a "data mining" project that does not involve listening in on conversations, but merely identifying phone numbers involved in possible terrorist communications."

"....it's obvious that what the NSA does with this vast amount of data is to run it through computers, looking for suspicious patterns, especially involving known or suspected terrorist phone numbers. I did a quick calculation: assuming that there are 200 million adult Americans, each of whom places or receives ten phone calls a day (a conservative estimate, I think), it would require a small army of 35,000 full-time NSA employees to pay a total of one second of attention to each call. In other words, lighten up: the NSA obviously isn't tracking your phone calls with your friends and relatives"

Joe Killian

Not sure if the conversation has strayed too far for anyone to care, but I posted some personal observations of the week with the Minuteman Project at my personal blog,

Joe Killian

Sorry - the address is http://joekillian.blogspot.com

Ed Cone

GB: I don't see anyone in this thread saying that anyone who supports immigration reform is a racist.

As I wrote in my latest newspaper column, "It is possible to ask hard questions without being a racist or a xenophobe."

But that doesn't mean that individuals or groups aren't accountable for their own actions and rhetoric. I'm no expert on the Minutemen, I guess people in this thread are trying to figure it out, in the usual blustery bloggy way.


Fred and Bubba, I respect your right to have your opinions (of course) and I appreciate you sharing them. The more you and others do, I believe, the more voters will turn away from Republicans. It's clear Republicans have abandoned all pretense of a belief in limited government.


Don't worry Roch - they'll rediscover that belief if a Democrat ever gets elected President.


Rationalize all you want, Stew and Roch.

Remember this converstation in light of the revelations about the London and Madrid bombings, and inretrospect if/when another 9-11 attack happens here.

Some of us haven't forgotten the reality of those events.

Ed Cone

Well, just because somebody has to do it...

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

I doubt you remember 9/11 any more clearly than any one else, Bubba.

I don't know enough about the phone record story to know what I think about it.

(Gasp! Are you allowed to say that on a blog?)

I do know that just dismissing the concerns about it seems unserious.

Ginger Bush


Whew, I'm glad we got that straight; I was beginning to wonder otherwise. The link you posted stated that movements like these are born of racial scapegoating. Sean called the Minutemen 'a bunch of reactionary racists.' That is rhetoric, Sean's very own. There are lie detector tests available to protect those who have doubt cast their way, innuendo’s made about them. Perhaps the Minutemen should be next in line if they want to clear their names.

You responded to a post where Gregory said "I was wondering when someone would crawl out from under a rock and shout racists." He did not state that they didn't have racial 'components', which I think you mean as constituents; you built upon what he had said and in effect put those words, that idea, in his mouth.

Ginger Bush

Have a good evening, all.


"I doubt you remember 9/11 any more clearly than any one else, Bubba."

You're right, Ed. What I should have said was that some of us have not forgotten the reality of the lessons we were cruelly taught from those events.

Thanks for getting the Franklin quote correct. It's been misquoted more often than not, and it's been severely overused in the blogsphere.



Bubba; Fred, I'm curious. The extent of the surveillance keeps growing and you guys keep shrugging it off. Is there any point at where you would draw the line on privacy? Will it be just fine with you if the government listens to and reads all your communications or is there some point short of that where you would draw the line?

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