Archive | Scary Crazy Wingnuts

It Would Be Irresponsible Not To Speculate, Part 2

Of course the wingnuts are too humorless to get that I was making fun of their typical wild accusations by insisting a Glen Beck listener had to be responsible for the Times Square bombing attempt. They invariably make all kinds of ungrounded speculation, but squeal like stuck pigs if anyone else does it.

Why, just today, another wingnut did it again!

At Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds puts the burden on federal authorities. He admits it’s only “speculation” to suppose that feds “rushed the arrest” because of “pressure from the Administration to generate some militia-threat headlines precisely at the time that the ‘militia threat’ was the talking-point of the day. But it’s not unreasonable speculation, based on what we know so far . . .”

Wingnuts don’t understand that the headline I used was a parody of a statement made by Peggy Noonan in which she talked about rumors that Bill Clinton was being blackmailed. She said some people might think it was irresponsible to speculate, “but it would be irresponsible not to speculate.”

Hence, the headline. Silly wingnuts!

The Odds

You know, I don’t want to jump to conclusions here, because that would make me too much like Matt “Right-wing But Rarely Right” Drudge. But if the car bomber was a white guy in his 40s who didn’t know the difference between ammonium nitrate and plain old fertilizer, I’m thinking it’s gotta be a Beck Patriot who was trying to water the tree of liberty … with the blood of random Times Square tourists.

I mean, it’s just their kind of logic:

Law enforcement officials offered a more detailed description of the makeup of the failed car bomb found in Times Square on Saturday night, and said they were reviewing surveillance footage that showed a white man who appeared to be in his 40s walking away from the area as he looked over his shoulder and removed a layer of clothing.

Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner, said the materials found in the Nissan Pathfinder — gasoline, propane, firecrackers and simple alarm clocks — also included eight bags of a granular substance, later determined to be nonexplosive grade of fertilizer, inside a 55-inch-tall metal gun locker.

The bomb, Mr. Kelly said, “would have caused casualties, a significant fireball.” He added, “I don’t think we can label it at this time crude or not.”

Let’s see: wrong kind of fertilizer. Shut-off propane tanks. Someone who’s not all that bright, or good with details? Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe it’s just a Limbaugh listener.

Nachum at Free Republic thinks otherwise:

To me, it sounds like a liberal charade to take the heat off Barack and put it on the tea partiers.

Brilliant thinks someone’s being framed:

They are going to hang this failed bomb on some fat, white guy who was allegedly seen at a Tea Party rally. The construction of the device was so botched it seems almost like a set up and some sad nutter was talked into driving it to Times Square. I know, you think I wear a tin foil hat to bed, but I really don’t trust our present government.

Yes, the rest of the freepers are insisting the perpetrator must be a white man who’s a convert to Islam.

I swear to God, I do not Make. This. Stuff. Up. I don’t have to.

UPDATE: I have to admit, I had second thoughts when I saw that the alleged suspect didn’t have a beer belly. Now officials are saying the plot appears to have international ties.

Get Your Goddamned Nose Out Of Our Private Parts

Honest to God, I’m losing all patience with the Fetus Fetishists. That they see the world in black and white shows how out of touch they are with realities like this:

Editor’s note: State Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, made the following remarks Friday on the House floor shortly before passage of HB 1143. The bill, which is now headed to the governor’s desk, would require all women seeking an abortion to submit to an ultrasound. In nearly all cases, medical personnel would be required to orally describe to the woman the ultrasound image before her abortion is performed.

Members, I like to paraphrase Pedro and say that there is no crying in lawmaking. But I’ll try to make it brief today. This amendment is so shortsighted as to be blind. You imagine that this only affects those wishing to terminate the pregnancy for no other reason than because it is their legally protected right to choose what to do with their body. But members, this affects every pregnant woman, including those that are losing their baby because of other reasons.

Last January my wife and I went to the doctor and we had our first ultrasound. At first we thought, ‘This is fantastic.’ It was just us and the (ultrasound) technician. At first everything looked fine. And all of a sudden, there were three doctors in the room. They tell us, ‘The measurements say this fetus has a genetic abnormality.’ We go to the next doctor; we get a second opinion, a third opinion. We’re told, this fetus is going to die. We don’t know if it’s two weeks left. The heart will stop beating in eight more weeks, 10 more weeks. It could be there for six months. We are asked, do you terminate the pregnancy now, or do you refuse, and naturally miscarry at some point in time?

We’ve seen three ultrasounds already at this point. And you act like this ultrasound machine is in another room, that you walk out into and go, oh, there it is. Actually, that ultrasound machine is right next to that bed, where my wife is laying, looking at this fetus. And she’s starting to cry. And she asks that that ultrasound machine be turned in the other direction because she can’t see it anymore. But this bill right here is saying “no, we’re going to demand one more time when you go in to finally terminate that fetus — because God and nature told you ‘not this time,’ that you be forced to see that screen, or you be told what’s on that screen, and that you demand it be turned away, but you’re still going to have to listen to the description of what’s still there. Members, this is something we’re about to do to women in this state.

But we’re not alone. Statistics show that about 25 percent of pregnancies are terminated naturally by God and nature. With today’s medical care, women don’t have to wait for the mother to keep a dying fetus inside their womb until it finally terminates on its own, or it finally miscarries by nature. So my wife and my sister are not alone. There are thousands and thousands of women that will be in the same position.

There are thousands and thousands of women who will be in that same position after this bill passes.

We knew the facts — we knew the heart chamber was slowly filling with fluid; we knew the facts — we didn’t need to be told that the fetus was slowly dying inside my wife’s womb. So don’t stand there and talk about facts.

Members, we constantly hear that this chamber is all about small government. The only thing this body has proven in the last six years is how this Legislature defines small government — six years ago this Legislature wanted government so small that it could fit down a tube into an individual woman’s throat named Terri Schiavo; this decade we have shown time and again that you want government so small that it can fit under someone’s bedroom door; and members, this year you are showing that you want government so small that it could fit between a woman’s leg and into her uterus. It’s not the small government that anyone wants.

I know that I have changed no one’s vote today because this body is controlled more by ideology than empathy. But I tell my story today because I want you to go home tonight and when you are by yourself and you have closed your eyes to sleep that your mind is filled with the personal pain you have brought to my wife, my sister and the thousands and thousands of women who want nothing more than to have the baby that is growing inside of them, but that unfortunately, God, nature and fate have chosen that it will not happen at that time. When you close your eyes every night, I want you to see their faces and their pain and the trauma you have personally brought them.

As Digby points out, these people really don’t give a shit. And frankly, I question their religious fervor. I’m guessing it has more to do with money and political power, more often than not.

Some people blame Obama for glossing over the steady erosion of abortion access and rights. Sure, I blame him – but mostly I blame the Democratic party for rolling over for so many years. Remember, a pitcher does not make the game; there’s a team in the field, too.

Our team sucks.

Lawyer for White Supremacists: We Wrote Arizona Law

Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that a teabagger who’s running for secretary of state in Kansas is claiming responsibility for “helping” Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a white separatist, write the state’s controversial new immigration law. (He has since removed the claim from his website.) Lawyer Kris Kobach, a constitutional law professor, is counsel for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

From Stephen Lemons at the Phoenix New Times:

As disturbing as the prospect is of a nativist extremist lawyer like Kris Kobach training all 881 of Sheriff Joe’s beigeshirts in immigration law, I have to wonder if it’s a sign that Arpaio’s throwing in the towel on the big Melendres vs. Arpaio racial-profiling lawsuit now underway in federal court.

What, was Stormfront’s Don Black not available? Maybe Tom Metzger could take a break from running his white nationalist Web site The Insurgent to come down and offer some words of supremacist wisdom to Joe’s benighted deputy dawgs. And don’t forget David Duke, that cat’s always lookin’ for a gig.

I kid, of course. Being an attorney, Kobach’s ties to anti-immigrant and extremist nativist organizations are far more white collar, with the emphasis on white. The controversial University of Missouri law prof acts as counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of FAIR, the notorious Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has tagged FAIR as a hate organization, and FAIR’s earned the title. Last April, when Kobach was announced as a minority witness before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during the committee’s hearing into the 287(g) program and Joe Arpaio, the SPLC hit the committee with a letter objecting to Kobach’s presence because of his ties to FAIR.

Regarding FAIR, the SPLC’s Mark Potok had this to say:

FAIR is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes annual listings of such organizations. Among the reasons are its acceptance of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a group founded to promote the genes of white colonials that funds studies of race, intelligence and genetics. FAIR has hired as key officials men who also joined white supremacist groups. It has board members who write regularly for hate publications. It promotes racist conspiracy theories about Latino immigrants. It has produced television programming featuring white nationalists.

And John Tanton, the man who founded the group in 1979, has a long personal history of associating with white nationalists. In a 1993 letter to Garret Hardin, a committed eugenicist who promoted pseudo-scientific ideas of racial purity, Tanton wrote candidly: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”

The committee ultimately allowed Kobach to speak, but the stigma Kobach carries with him both precedes and hounds him. In 2004, he ran as a Republican against Democratic Congressman Dennis Moore, and was spanked hard, losing by 11 percent to Moore in Kansas’ largely Republican 3rd District. One reason he lost, according to The Road to Congress 2004 was because, “in general, Kobach was accused of taking money from a white supremacist organization, and the charge stuck.” Currently, Kobach is vying to be Kansas’ Secretary of State.

Kobach also served under Attorney General John Ashcroft during the Bush administration. There he developed a controversial program to profile Muslim men from certain countries and track them while in the U.S.

Kobach is also the proponent of a near-mystical nativist legal concept: that local cops have the inherent authority to enforce all federal statutes. Most legal scholars find this idea laughable, but folks like Arpaio and Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce cling to it like a life preserver in choppy waters.

Oh, this is gonna be interesting.

Buying A College

This is a very scary story.

Shimer College, the “Great Books College of Chicago,” has just foiled a hostile takeover attempt and fired its president.

The small liberal arts school has weathered numerous crises since its founding in 1853, including a near-bankruptcy in the 1970s that forced it to sell its original campus in northwestern Illinois. But it has never come as close to destruction as during the last few months, when newly hired president Thomas Lindsay packed the Board of Trustees with 14 additional members who had a different agenda in mind for the college. With the tacit support of his narrow majority on the augmented Board, Lindsay initiated an increasingly authoritarian administration, contemptuously challenging Shimer’s tradition of shared governance and intimating that faculty and staff who did not go along with his program would soon be obliged to seek employment elsewhere. Investigation by concerned students and alums revealed thefar-right background of all the new Board members and of Lindsay himself, as well as the fact that virtually all of them were closely tied to a very right-wing and very wealthy anonymous donor.

After months of discussions, debates and protests, the crisis developed into an open power struggle, giving rise to national coverage (including a particularly mendacious article in the Wall Street Journal) and uniting virtually everyone in the Shimer community — studentsfaculty, administration and alums. Hundreds of alums signed an online petition calling for Lindsay’s resignation and on April 18 the Shimer Assembly (a body comprising all students, faculty and administrative staff as equal voting members) passed a unanimous resolution of no confidence (with three abstentions).

This virtually unanimous opposition, combined with behind-the-scenes arguments and negotiations, succeeded in converting two crucial swing members of the Shimer Board, which at a secret meeting on April 19 voted 18-16 to fire Lindsay, effective immediately.

It is unusual enough for a college president to be fired, but it is almost unheard of for this to happen as the result of an open and democratic process involving the entire community. This process has demonstrated the dynamism of Shimer’s community, and delivered a modest but exemplary blow against ongoing right-wing attempts to corrupt or take over academic institutions. At the same time, it opens up an unknown future. Will the tiny school be able to continue to carry out its innovative program after having bluntly rejected the strings-attached support of the wealthy right-wing clique?

‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

Noam Chomsky on the mood in America:

“It is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” Chomsky told me when I called him at his office in Cambridge, Mass. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Weimar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

“I listen to talk radio,” Chomsky said. “I don’t want to hear Rush Limbaugh. I want to hear the people calling in. They are like [suicide pilot] Joe Stack. ‘What is happening to me? I have done all the right things. I am a God-fearing Christian. I work hard for my family. I have a gun. I believe in the values of the country and my life is collapsing.’”

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