Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2009

L.A. Times on Rightwing Extremism

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Last night, the most-viewed story on the L.A. Times web site was a hand-wringer about those Rightwing Extremists.

Titled Right-wing extremists seen as a threat, the deck headline reads: “A Homeland Security report says right-wing groups are on the rise because of fears about Obama and the recession.” And the story opens:

The economic downturn and the election of the nation’s first black president are contributing to a resurgence of right-wing extremist groups, which had been on the wane since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment distributed to state and local authorities last week.

The report, produced by the Department of Homeland Security, has triggered a backlash among conservatives because it also raised the specter that disgruntled veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might “boost the capabilities of extremists . . . to carry out violence.”

That’s not the only reason, L.A. Times!

Also very problematic is the fact that the report specifically lists certain conservative beliefs as characteristic of extremism groups, warning of groups that “reject[] federal authority in favor of state or local authority” or “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” The report at the end promises to monitor such worrisome possible thoughtcrimes:

DHS/I&A will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months to ascertain with greater regional specificity the rise in rightwing extremist activity in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the political, economic, and social factors that drive rightwing extremist radicalization.

Ed Morrissey reports that Mississippi Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

wants an explanation of what “activities” Napolitano has planned with law enforcement officials to monitor legitimate public political activity, as promised at the end of the DHS report. He called himself “particularly struck” by this statement. And well he might; it promises to have government treat political discourse as a subversive activity.

Were the politics flipped, you would almost certainly see an article from the L.A. Times warning of the dangers of government seemingly pledging to monitor people with disturbing political beliefs. Yet this is not even mentioned as a possibly objectionable aspect of the report! Instead, the article plays up the angle that those damn rightwing extremists are becoming really worrisome, calling the report “the first high-level U.S. intelligence report to call attention to an array of recent domestic developments as potential harbingers of terrorist violence.”

Simply incredible.

Saved for the 24th paragraph is the fact that there was a similar report in January about leftwing extremists — and even then, it is cited only as evidence that the government is being evenhanded. Which, by the way, is not true, as that report is nowhere near as politically charged as the one about “rightwing extremism,” which (unlike the one about leftwing extremism) focuses on standard beliefs as evidence of extremism.

And if the leftwing extremism report really was the analogue to this one, then where was the L.A. Times report about it?

P.S. Meanwhile, at UNC Chapel-Hill, Tom Tancredo, a man who has is virtually “dedicated to a single issue” (namely, that red-flag issue of “immigration”) tried to make a speech — but was shouted down by the voices of moderation, who disrupted his speech, broke a window, and chanted “We know where you sleep at night!”

I feel pretty confident that this episode will end up as part of a hefty government document on left-wing extremism that will be breathlessly reported in the L.A. Times.

48 Comments

  1. “left-wing extremism that will be breathlessly reported in the L.A. Times.”

    I’m sure I’ll be pardoned (no pun intended) if I don’t hold my breath waiting for them to report this.

    Comment by GM Roper (85dcd7) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:00 am

  2. [...] you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, check out Common Sense Political Thought and Patterico’s Pontifications. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Best Things Ruined by the InternetBlogging 2.0The [...]

    Pingback by Right Wing Extremist™ Blogs « Truth Before Dishonor (ea9e19) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:01 am

  3. Why should the action of right-thinking people to thwart a right-wing nutjob, and his verbal assault on peace-loving immigrants, be an issue? Might as well call PETA, MoveOn or Bill Ayers extremist!

    Comment by Kevin Murphy (0b2493) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:04 am

  4. I mentioned this in another thread …. Gestapo Politics. Obama’s AmeriSTAPO

    Setting up the ground work to legitimize “conservatism” as being “akin to terrorists.”

    Sad day in America when Gov.t Officials lend themselves to this totalitarian view of the US simply out of hatred for the other side. I guess 40% of America is “EXTREMIST.”

    Somehow it escapes the AmeriSTAPO that the enire f’ing CONSTITUTION was set up to PREVENT the very things they now are calling extremeism.

    But, hey, we need to be nice.

    IN-FARGING-CREDIBLE!

    Comment by Jimminy'cricket (637168) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:26 am

  5. Patterico, when I click the Comments link at the bottom of each of the the top two posts on the site right now, I get a totally blank page on one and a “No comments” notice on this one (LA Times)

    8:33 AM PDT 4/16

    Comment by Anonymous (4fbbd2) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:33 am

  6. Funny enough, it was the “right wing extremists” who warned us that Obama was going to engage in these type of totalitarian tactics.

    Police State with a Smile. So much for GWB being a dictator.

    When do the “Truth and Reconciliation Hearings” start?

    Comment by HeavenSent (637168) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:49 am

  7. Stuff like this, and they actually wonder why we feel the need to have a couple of extra guns…

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (90ff96) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:06 am

  8. Why should the LA Times write a report on left wing extremists ? You don’t rat on your friends !

    Comment by Mike K (2cf494) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:08 am

  9. If veterans can be “brought” to bear against a policy of the United States “government” then, perhaps, the problem lies not … with the veterans.

    Comment by Art (c63e9c) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:26 am

  10. wouldn’t expect the cracka farm to understand the men who were dragged in the stret for being black were done by these extremists, or the ones who were hunted down came from the similiar group of animals. Right on Obama

    Comment by truth (3ced51) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:34 am

  11. I think the headlined story listed as #6 as even funnier – “anti – tax protests steeped in insanity.” Into the tar pits they go, head first.

    Comment by Dmac (1ddf7e) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:34 am

  12. Speaking of extremism, the Texas governor yesterday said Texas might want to secede.

    What is your opinion about secession, my non-extremist Patterico comments section readers?

    Comment by Andrew (754714) — 4/16/2009 @ 9:59 am

  13. Jiminy Cricket
    “Setting up the ground work to legitimize “conservatism” as being “akin to terrorists.”

    Listen to yourself for a minute..
    Is what you describe in your quote above sort of like the right calling all the “liberals” who opposed the Iraq war “traitors” or people who “hate America”? Or saying that those “liberals” are “providing aid and comfort to the enemy?” etc.etc.etc. and the rest of the tit for tat litany?

    Was all that type of right wing rhetoric from the Bush years the ground work to legitimize “liberalism” as being akin to “traitors” who “pal around with terrorists”?

    Sort of sucks how that kind of rhetoric is a two edged sword huh? Maybe this particular tit for tat game needs to end so we can get down to some serious business.

    When the Republican majority was saying BOOGA BOOGA! ISLAMOFACISM! Give up your rights! A lot of people pushed back.

    Now that Homeland security is saying BOOGA BOOGA! RIGHT WING HATE! We may need more of your rights! It’s time for people to keep pushing back and sageguard those rights.

    The dangers that the Bush and Obama administrations are invoking are real and if you don’t believe me spend some time down on the Pearl River. But the danger to keep your eye on, without getting distracted by the tit for tat game, is the danger of the government whittling away at our civil liberties “to keep us safe”.

    The government isn’t trying to make “conservatism” akin to “terrorism”, but it might be trying to make dissent akin to “treason” or “terrorism”. Governments ten to do that, especially if they want to be “right” about somthing, or are trying to get something done (win a war for example). Bush, Obama, the next Prez. whatever. If they want more of our rights for whatever reason we need to push back.

    Making the pushback into a “liberal” or “conservative” thing is just another wedge that makes us, the people, weaker.

    Comment by EdWood (acc5bc) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:01 am

  14. I went with my friend to NY TEA PARTY 2009 the whole evening was in order. There were NO bad incident was reported by the Police force.

    Also also wonder what’s going on in AMERICA with F R E E D O M O F S P E E C H? We ALL have the right to have our say. Do you have any idea what happens in LATIN AMERICA of even in some ASIAN COUNTRIES when you talked the TRUTH about your government there? Check their info.

    Comment by Diana (1543e9) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:06 am

  15. When the Republican majority was saying BOOGA BOOGA! ISLAMOFACISM! Give up your rights!

    What rights did we actually give up?

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (7c44bf) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:24 am

  16. Andrew – Could you provide evidence that the TX Gov valled for secession?

    Comment by JD (eef042) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:42 am

  17. Isn’t the LA Times in bankruptcy? When is the liquidation sale, I would like to pick up a desk and chair.

    Do you qualify as a leftwing nutjob extremist if your best friend is a terror bomber? If not, why not.

    Comment by bill-tb (26027c) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:49 am

  18. This is the Democrat’s version of the Patriot Act -as they see it! Damn GWB!

    What would the left would make of the Dept. of Homeland Security issuing a similar, “situational awareness”, memo regarding labor unions? After all, the unions are forcing GM into bankruptcy. And this paradox applies to the LA Times as well. There is no record of the LA Times ever being violated by right wing war veterans, but the Times Building was blown-up by left wing labor activists in October of 1910.

    What?! You mean the “left wing labor activists” now occupy the editorial board of the LA Times? Whoda’ thunk!

    Comment by C. Norris (78af44) — 4/16/2009 @ 10:58 am

  19. And the next one:

    Republicans stage “tea party” protests against Obama

    They weren’t Republican, they weren’t staged, and they weren’t against Obama.

    Comment by Amphipolis (fdbc48) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:16 am

  20. Come on, Michael. We all know Boooosh was wiping his arse with the Constitution, when he wasn’t spitting on it.

    Comment by JD (eef042) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:28 am

  21. Conservative thought is now right wing extremism, which is comparable to Islamofascism?

    Comment by JD (eef042) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:31 am

  22. What Nappy should be looking at is the reasons why they should worry about Vets and other patriots who might consider having to join anything. If the BHO regime should press their Socialistic Agenda, maybe there are enough veteran patriots, among others, to do what they must to preserve America’s culture.

    Beware, for the one you trained may be the one you have to fear. These words should raise the hackles on any politicians with ideas that they are not accountable.

    Comment by Colin (cefcd7) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:34 am

  23. Speaking of extremism, the Texas governor yesterday said Texas might want to secede.

    Andrew has a point, but only he knows what that particular point is.

    Comment by Dmac (1ddf7e) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:35 am

  24. Andrew asked:

    What is your opinion about secession, my non-extremist Patterico comments section readers?

    If a state wishes to secede, it should have that right.

    Comment by The Confederate Dana (3e4784) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:50 am

  25. Mackubin T. Owens on the “right to secession.”

    When the States ratified the Constitution of 1787, they pledged that they would accept the results of elections conducted according to its rules. In violation of this pledge, the Southern States seceded because they did not like the outcome of the election of 1860. Thus secession is the interruption of the constitutional operation of republican government, substituting the rule of the minority for that of the majority.

    Herman Belz on secession

    Secession was not only impractical, but intrinsically wrong. As postulated by southerners, its real meaning was that the Constitution and laws of the United States—despite appearances to the contrary resulting from membership in the Union—never imposed binding legal and moral obligation on a state or the people of a state, but only such obligation as a state or a people were personally willing to recognize.

    Any acknowledgement of the right to secede invalidates the principle of the Constitution as the highest law of the land. Secession assumes that the whim of the individual states are the highest law of the land.

    Right to revolution? Yes. Right to secession? No.

    Comment by Christian (abaa8f) — 4/16/2009 @ 12:43 pm

  26. Secede Hell! SELL Texas. Where are Free Market Capitalists when you really need them. They’re all hat and no cattle.

    Comment by DCSCA (9d1bb3) — 4/16/2009 @ 1:17 pm

  27. Texas has a built-in right to secede from the union in it’s constitution. This constitution was approved by Congress.

    Texasx has a right to do so. But it is rather unique in the fact that it used to be its’ own country. It also gave up a vast amount of land to the United States when it joined the union. I currently live in an area that used to be part of the Republic of Texas, but it is not part of the State of Texas. Weird.

    Comment by Newtons Bit (a67c58) — 4/16/2009 @ 1:44 pm

  28. Texas has a built-in right to secede from the union in it’s constitution

    No, that’s false.

    http://www.texassecede.com/faq.htm#txconst

    (This is from a site that thinks Texas should secede)

    Comment by Steverino (69d941) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:05 pm

  29. California was also a Republic (at least in name)!

    Comment by AD (0053b8) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:13 pm

  30. Here is a link to some community based news site from southern Maryland. Never heard of it before and probably never will again. I can’t figure out who publishes it from what I found on the website, but they purport to report news stories like this one.

    Apparently the Maryland National Guard took the DHS report seriously, which is always a danger. Some backwater public appointee sees something that looks official and starts acting on it. Unintended consequences are sure to follow.

    Reminds me of some lame comedy from John Candy back in the 80′s about Canada invading the United States.

    Jeezus.

    Comment by bobdog (e4052c) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:17 pm

  31. Forgot to post the link:

    http://somd.com/news/headlines/2009/9833.shtml

    Comment by bobdog (e4052c) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:18 pm

  32. What, dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism?

    Comment by Perfect Sense (0922fa) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:37 pm

  33. No, Perfect Sense, the highest form of patriotism is now kneeling at the altar of Teh One, and submitting to Teh Narrative.

    Comment by JD (6ed8b2) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:52 pm

  34. Funny how Kosovo seceding from Serbia is not an “extremist” position but Texas seceding is.

    I got to get one of these Democrat dictionaries …

    Comment by SPQR (72771e) — 4/16/2009 @ 2:54 pm

  35. SPQR… It’ll just curdle your mind… you are better off reading old issues of Pravda. At least Pravda made more sense.

    Comment by GM Roper (85dcd7) — 4/16/2009 @ 3:42 pm

  36. Texas cannot be allowed to secede. Where will we resettle the surviving Israelis after Iran nukes them? And this time they will have oil — whether they will be allowed to drill for it ….

    Comment by nk (0d643e) — 4/16/2009 @ 5:08 pm

  37. As for the punks at Tancredo’s speech, they made his point better than he could ever have. They are not Americans and they are not ready to become Americans.

    Comment by nk (0d643e) — 4/16/2009 @ 5:10 pm

  38. As for the punks at Tancredo’s speech, they made his point better than he could ever have. Punks? When punks in positions of authority and responsibility like Tancredo crow to global TV audiences that Mexico runs its socialized oil company the way Obama wants to run GM, they deserve to be ignored if not bounced out of office.

    Comment by DCSCA (9d1bb3) — 4/16/2009 @ 6:15 pm

  39. Time for any well-heeled alumni who have given generously in the past to UNC to tie up the purse strings. Ultimately that’s the only message that these Bill Ayers wannabees (and that especially includes the administration and faculty) may ever understand.

    Comment by Dagwood (ecd2ff) — 4/16/2009 @ 6:19 pm

  40. they deserve to be ignored if not bounced out of office.

    But he wasn’t “ignored,” was he? Nor did the punks or the voters “bounce him from office.” So, you see, my friend, you have no point. A complete non-sequitur.

    Comment by carlitos (56cf62) — 4/16/2009 @ 6:37 pm

  41. DCSCA, namecalling is all you got left, I see.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 4/16/2009 @ 6:55 pm

  42. When punks in positions of authority and responsibility like Tancredo

    Werner Von Braun would be so ashamed of you if he hear this.

    Comment by Dmac (1ddf7e) — 4/16/2009 @ 7:04 pm

  43. Dmac – But Kennedy thought ASPCA was masterful in the Bay of Pigs.

    Comment by daleyrocks (5d22c0) — 4/16/2009 @ 7:54 pm

  44. Well, I get some satisfaction out of such coverage knowing that the LA Times (not to mention other newspapers) is wheezing, stumbling and fumbling, financially, operationally and symbolically.

    Couldn’t be happening to a nicer group of people—ie, two-bit liberals who have a knack for getting so much of everything ass backwards, from identifying the truly good people and situations compared with the truly bad ones.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 4/16/2009 @ 8:13 pm

  45. While DHS is out checking bumper stickers in their search for the next blond-haired, blue-eyed domestic terrorist…

    … the enemy is already inside the gates.

    – MuscleDaddy

    Comment by MuscleDaddy (a6d00a) — 4/16/2009 @ 11:56 pm

  46. I’m sorry O Honest Man….but when Rush and Beck pimp Alex Jones what are sane homosapiens sapiens supposed to do?

    Comment by wheeler's cat (26e672) — 4/17/2009 @ 10:26 am

  47. [...] That’s right. The media are focusing on the risks outlined in a report on right wing extremists. That report ” focuses on standard beliefs as evidence of extremism” to quote Patterico. [...]

    Pingback by Media Beatup Successful « Something should go here, maybe later. (2f358a) — 4/22/2009 @ 1:41 pm

  48. [...] When the government produced a ridiculous report that appeared to declare conservative sentiments to be a worrisome phenomenon that should concern law enforcement, did the L.A. Times worry about the obvious chilling effect on political beliefs? No, it parroted the phantom concern about those damn violent right-wingers. [...]

    Pingback by Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32) — 1/1/2010 @ 12:07 pm

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