Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Tries to Draw Moral Equivalence Between San Bernardino Killers and One of Their Outspoken Victims

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:48 pm

Oh, they would deny it. But that’s what they’re doing.

The L.A. Times ran a piece on December 12 titled The shooting victim at the center of the debate about politics, religion and free speech. Yes, that’s right: the “debate.” You can see where they’re going right from jump street:

Nicholas Thalasinos wasn’t shy about his beliefs.

He took to Facebook and Twitter several times a day to opine about radical Islam, President Obama, abortion and Israel.

Thalasinos was one of 14 people killed in the Dec. 2 attack at a holiday party for the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. One of Thalasinos’ co-workers at the department, Syed Rizwan Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire in what is the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11.

And in the days after the slaughter, Thalasinos has become the focal point of an incendiary debate about free speech and the use of social media as a tool for persuading and proselytizing.

Has he now? Maybe around the L.A. Times water cooler. Out here in the real world we’re talking about trying to find ways to keep radical Islamist fanatics from killing more people.

A conservative Messianic Jew who believed in Jesus Christ as his savior while adhering to traditional elements of Judaism, Thalasinos enjoyed initiating spirited discussions about politics and religion with anyone who would listen.

He was seldom seen without his tzitzis — Jewish tassels — and was known for bright shirts, suspenders and a star of David tie clip. His social media persona was even less inhibited.

You know who had a social media persona that was even less inhibited than that of Nicholas Thalasinos? You know who also wasn’t shy about her beliefs? Why, that’d be Tashfeen Malik.

The New York Times has reported that Tashfeen Malik “talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad. . . . She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it.” Rather “uninhibited,” wouldn’t you say? Yet, in her zeal to place moral blame on the godbotherer Thalasinos, the rabid leftist L.A. Times reporter (I am making a guess here regarding her politics, but it’s an educated one) does not mention any of Malik’s far more incendiary postings. More from the L.A. Times article:

Two weeks before the shooting rampage at the Inland Regional Center, Stephens said, she called Thalasinos during a lunch break and overheard him talking about Islam with Farook, a fellow health inspector.

Thalasinos told her that Farook was defending Islam as a peaceful religion.

The conversation, Stephens said, was “nothing out of the ordinary. It was like an everyday conversation. It didn’t set off any bells or whistles for me.”

This is perhaps the most disgusting part of a disgusting article — as the writer goes out of her way to suggest that Thalasinos may have borne some moral responsibility for the massacre.

Keep in mind that, as he defended the peaceful nature of Islam, Farook and his wife had quite clearly planned violent jihad for quite some time. His wife’s pro-jihad postings were “old” (according to the New York Times), and we now know that they were made before she came to the U.S. in July 2014 — because it has been reported that U.S. officials did not look at them pursuant to Obama administration policy. (The L.A. Times has hidden that fact from its readers, but we know anyway.)

Why, they even occurred before her husband had a discussion with the evil Nicholas Thalasinos about the allegedly peaceful nature of Islam!

Nor was Farook himself a peaceful Muslim who suddenly became enraged upon talking to the dastardly Thalasinos. Consulting another New York Times article:

“At first it seemed very black and white to us that he changed radically when he met her,” said one of the officials who declined to be identified because of the continuing investigation. “But it’s become clear that he was that way before he met her.”

She came to the United States in July 2014, remember. So Farook had been radicalized (or, as the goofballs at the L.A. Times like to say: “self-radicalized”) for more than a year and a half before his ever-so-fateful conversation with Thalasinos.

There is no basis to imply that Thalasinos had anything to do with Farook’s and Malik’s murderous and fanatical actions. Other than being a Jew who dared think differently than these killers, he did nothing to deserve being murdered. Nor did his Facebook postings even begin to approach the violence described in Malik’s postings.

There is no moral equivalence here. None.

But that doesn’t stop the L.A. Times from trying to draw one.

33 Responses to “L.A. Times Tries to Draw Moral Equivalence Between San Bernardino Killers and One of Their Outspoken Victims”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  2. They are just plagiarizing the NYDN, where a writer made the same equivalency within days of the shooting.

    LAT is not only inaccurate but unoriginal.

    Estragon (ada867)

  3. Thalasinos: I have religious tracts and well-reasoned argument.
    Farook: I have two rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. A dozen pipe bombs, too.

    What’s the difference?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Doug McIntyre on the radio had a “discussion” about the article in the NY Daily News with its author, Linda Stasi, who I believe was the first to play “blame the Jew.”

    I heard the last minute or so, and there was screaming involved. She’s not backing down.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  5. Only an anti-Semite would play this sick blame game. That the LAT ran the piece shows their endorsement of that position.

    Dana (86e864)

  6. as the writer goes out of her way to suggest that Thalasinos may have borne some moral responsibility for the massacre.

    I don’t know if I’m going out of my way to say that the idiotic liberal who penned that LA Times article deserves to end up taking a long walk in a dark alley filled with Islamofascists.

    Is that unkind of me?

    Not really. The Stockholm Syndrome — at least when the captors aren’t, say, WASPy, US-bred Christian conservatives — likely comes naturally and mindlessly to dippy libs like Hailey Branson-Potts.

    Mark (f713e4)

  7. Well, narciso,in one way the only surprise is that the offense was so obvious,
    They couldn’t just disappear it without notice

    MD in Philly (not in Philly) (deca84)

  8. I’m still struck by one of the casualties, who did terrorist mappings before he moved over to the health departmment,

    narciso (732bc0)

  9. mapping of terrorist organizations,

    narciso (732bc0)

  10. Patterico, I’m surprised to see you following the Leftist practice of talking about Muslims being radicalized as if something was done to them that is out of their control. They don’t “get radicalized”, they choose to become violent jihadists.

    Cugel (f3bb28)

  11. I never said it was beyond their control. I read a book by someone who became radicalized and I think I understand how it happens pretty well.

    Patterico (3b6af9)

  12. re #5: wonder why she has no presence on Patreon. Maybe she should use DailyMotion or somehint like veetle or vaughn.
    Given ggle politics, no one should be surprised.

    seeRpea (2c8672)

  13. re #4: “Stasi”? really? like the East German secret police?

    So if a woman goes around a high crime area wearing a short skirt and showing lots of cleavage and ends up getting raped – she deserves at least blame for the event? Just trying to get the paramaters straight.

    seeRpea (2c8672)

  14. These writers better watch out, put the shoe on the other foot and they’ve signed their own death warrants. If Thalasanos got what he had coming for arguing that Islam was violent, then these writers should pay in blood for defending his murderers.

    ropelight (b1d3d2)

  15. — What is the difference between a Jehovah’s Witness and Osama bin Laden?
    — I don’t know, man, I write for the Los Angeles Times.

    nk (dbc370)

  16. seeRpea, Yep, she was asking for it!

    mark (3b8dfb)

  17. the rabid leftist L.A. Times reporter (I am making a guess here regarding her politics, but it’s an educated one) does not mention any of Malik’s far more incendiary postings.

    She doesn’t dwell on them because they haven’t been released, only described second hand, so she really doesn’t know what Tashfeen Malik said. How can she write about them? She doesn’t know what it was, and she doesn’t really have a good idea.

    She can’t describe anything at all about them based on her own knowledge. The name of the account, and what kind of social media, hasn’t been disclosed. Was it on Facebook? A dating website? A Pakistani website known to include jihadists? Several different ones? Public or private (it’s been added today that she sent some ominous sounding message to her sister)

    It hasn’t even been disclosed in what language they are in. She knew Arabic and Urdu, and spoke some broken English.

    The media still doesn’t have the exact text of the proclamation of allegiance to ISIS – even what language it was in, or what was the term she used for ISIS or Baghdadi, or what was the name on the account. Or anything about the history of the e-mail address it was linked to.

    Or the exact time of the post and if it is consistent with her doing it right before the attack, i.e., how does it fit in with the timeline? I’m not so sure she was the one who did it.

    We learned only after a few days that that it wasn’t in the singular but in the plural “We” (taht is both of them or all of them) pledged allegiance or whatever it was.

    That Facebook profile page (the allegiance was added to her profile apparently) was discovered by Facebook itself on Wednesday December 2 (the day of the attack) because she had linked her Facebook account to an e-mail address she had once used. Nobody reported it. Facebook took it down itself. Facebook did not take it down right away. This must be because they must have wanted to know what the FBI wanted to do – maybe it had some investigatory value. They took it down the next day, Thursday, December 2.

    They really should release her online communications. People would pick up on things, or suggest search terms. Keeping them under wraps is worse than foolish. People could look for more, draw connections.

    Sammy Finkelman (4d9cfa)

  18. nk:

    Thalasinos: I have religious tracts and well-reasoned argument.
    Farook: I have two rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. A dozen pipe bombs, too.

    No, the argument went like this:

    Thalasinos: Islam is not a peaceful religion. I have religious tracts and well-reasoned argument to prove it.

    Farook: Islam is indeed a peaceful religion.

    Telephone rings. Thalasinos picks up.

    Thalasinos (to Kuuleme Stephens) My colleague here won’t agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

    To Farook: Here, talk to her.

    Farook: Americans don’t understand Islam.

    The phone is put down, but not hung up. They continue arguing.

    This happened after the Paris attacks, in the same week, maybe the same day, that Farook borrowed $28,500 from Prosper. Two days later he withdrew exactly $10,000 in cash (to avoid an alert) and then transferred about $5,000 three times to an account in the name of his mother. The night before the massacre, he withdrew $600 in cash. He also use dthat account to pay for the rental of the getaway car.

    Sammy Finkelman (4d9cfa)

  19. From Free Republic:

    ‘Playing into the Hands of ISIS’?
    National Review ^ | 12/14/2015 | Victor Davis Hanson
    Posted on 12/15/2015, 7:17:35 AM by Servant of the Cross

    American elites take a perverse view of what ISIS is really after.

    “Playing into the hands of ISIS” is the new Beltway mantra. The finger-shaking by the administration and its supporters warns Americans not to give in to their supposedly natural biases against Muslims.

    Never mind that FBI statistics show that Jews in this country are the objects of hate crimes at nearly four times the rate of Muslims. It is mysteriously never reported who are the main perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews. In any case, when the administration alleges Islamophobia, it assumes that if it did not, ISIS might announce to Muslims worldwide, “We told you so,” to confirm its suspicions of American prejudices toward Islam.

    But according to Obama’s own logic, his constant suggestions that Americans are prejudiced against Islam would themselves strengthen ISIS by providing them a rationale or justification for their anti-American terrorism. Would they not think, “If President Obama himself is constantly worried that his own people are anti-Muslim, then surely they must be – even though statistics do not support that charge”?

    Or are we to think that ISIS reasons along the following lines: “Even after 9/11, Americans let in hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and yet hate crimes against them are far rarer than against Jews. Therefore Americans are our friends, and we will refrain from attacking them”?

    When the president pontificates on the evils of Guantánamo Bay, rather than worries over the subsequent careers of terrorists who were released from the detention facility, does that encourage or discourage ISIS?

    (Excerpt) Read more at …

    Click on the link for a pic that’ll make you laugh.

    ropelight (b1d3d2)

  20. I think it must have been put on speakerphone.

    It must have gone more like this:

    Telephone rings. Thalasinos picks up. He sees it is his online friend Kuuleme Stephens and puts it on Speakerphone.

    Thalasinos (to Kuuleme Stephens) My colleague here won’t agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

    To Farook: Here, talk to her.

    Farook: Americans don’t understand Islam.

    Thalasinos: I don’t know how to talk to him.

    The phone is then ignored. They continue arguing.

    Sammy Finkelman (4d9cfa)


    Kuuleme Stephens
    @kuuleme69 Dec 3
    @nypost REALLY! How low will you people stoop to make money for your media rag!
    View conversation ·

    @SageAntone Dec 3
    @nypost It’s a good thing those Muslims proved him wrong about being violent troglodytes.

    Actually Thalasinos was not concerned about Farook personally.

    Sammy Finkelman (4d9cfa)

  22. What’s-His-Name is an idiot in general since when major acts of crime have occurred, or when controversies involving the police has taken place going back to 2009, he’s often been a typical ass-backwards liberal and sympathized with the bad guy and, in turn, demonized or shrugged off the good guy.

    I could deal with (or somewhat tolerate) such stupidity if liberals like the crud currently in the Oval Office at least didn’t have the notion their hearts are made of gold.

    Mark (f713e4)

  23. Thalasinos was probably trying to convert Farook, at least into giving up Islam.

    This web post, put up by the Tucson, Arizona Republican Committeewoman who called up Thalasinos while he was in the middle of an argument wth Farook, at a time when he had probably set the plot into motion, gives chapter and verse of the arguments Thalasinos was attempting to use.

    Sammy Finkelman (4d9cfa)

  24. 6. Only an anti-Semite would play this sick blame game. That the LAT ran the piece shows their endorsement of that position.

    Dana (86e864) — 12/14/2015 @ 9:23 pm

    If only that were the case. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not on the side of the anti-Semites. It’s just that this sick blame game represents a far wider and deeper sickness in our society.

    I can’t believe it, but the jury in the Philip Chism trial are in their second day of deliberations.

    Jury in Second Day of Deliberations in Philip Chism Murder Trial

    The 16-year-old faces a number of charges, including first-degree murder, aggravated rape and robbery

    I can’t believe a jury would need to deliberate for two minutes let alone two days to convict this guy. His attorney is arguing insanity. And one of the keys to his insanity defense is that, he claims, his math teacher used a “trigger word.” So in essence his defense is that it was her fault for setting him off. And I fear the jury just might buy it!

    This is what our educational establishment is producing. A few days ago Pat posted about the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University telling his students to grow the h#ll up after a student complained about being “victimized” by a sermon. The administrator told the kid if he wanted to be in day care there were a lot of institutions that would cater to him. But OKWU would not. That letter went viral because that sort of response is rare; a college or university president with that sort of backbone is almost unheard of.

    The cause of the problem is that the cultural Marxists have seized control of the educational establishment. It is literally impossible for a conservative to get a teaching credential in Kali, for instance. The instructors at the ed school will flunk a conservative out of the required social justice courses for having the wrong political opinions. And they’ll flunk that student even if he or she tries to play the game and simply regurgitate what the instructor wants to hear, if the instructor knows or suspects the student isn’t a true believer but is one of “them.” And “they” can’t be allowed to teach as they would undo the the other teachers’ leftist brain washing. I’ll let Barack Obama’s political patron and probable ghost writer illustrate my point.

    …Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a “Freedom School” during his pre-underground student radical days.) But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene’s lectures on how the “oppressive hegemony” of the capitalist social order “reproduces” itself through the traditional practice of public schooling—critical pedagogy’s fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.

    …Greene told future teachers that they could help change this bleak landscape by developing a “transformative” vision of social justice and democracy in their classrooms. Her vision, though, was a far cry from the democratic optimism of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., which most parents would endorse. Instead, critical pedagogy theorists nurse a rancorous view of an America in which it is always two minutes to midnight and a knock on the door by the thought police is imminent. The education professors feel themselves anointed to use the nation’s K–12 classrooms to resist this oppressive system. Thus Maxine Greene urged teachers not to mince words with children about the evils of the existing social order.

    …These days, Ayers carries the joint titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of his several books on the moral imperative of teaching for social justice is a bestseller in ed-school courses. Like many other tenured and well-heeled radicals, Ayers keeps hoping for a revolutionary upheaval that will finally bring down American capitalism and imperialism. But now, instead of planting bombs in bathrooms, he has been planting the seeds of resistance and rebellion in America’s future teachers, who will then pass on the lessons to the students in their classrooms.

    …The readings that Ayers assigns are as intellectually stimulating and diverse as a political commissar’s indoctrination session in one of his favorite communist tyrannies. The reading list for his urban education course includes the bible of the critical pedagogy movement, Brazilian Marxist Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed; two books by Ayers himself; another by bell hooks, a radical black feminist writer and critical race theorist; and a “Freedom School” curriculum. That’s the entire spectrum of debate…

    A key part of this indoctrination is training children to believe that words that run counter to their leftist ideology are literally violence. That’s why college students are throwing temper tantrums and demanding safe spaces where they won’t hear thoughts expressed that threaten their delicate psyches. And their psyches are delicate, because they’ve been trained to believe that intolerable ideas are actual threats to their safety. They are insane. They’ve been trained to believe they can’t control themselves, and shouldn’t be expected to control themselves, if someone commits a “microaggression” against them and triggers them. The words are the clue. A “microaggression” is a form of aggression, and therefore justifies other forms of aggression in response.

    So, it’s the victim’s fault for making the black kids angry. Or the Muslims. Or whatever group has been taught to see racism, sexism, imperialism, ableism, heteronormative patriarchy, blah blah blah, everywhere. That VA shooter who killed his coworkers at the TV station he was fired from because he imagined oppression everywhere is the poster child for this form of insanity. And you wouldn’t believe how many liberals defended the guy. Of course, they denied they were trying to justify the guy’s actions, but that’s exactly what they were doing when they’d blurt out the platitudes about murder never being justified. Then they’d throw in a “but” and go on to justify his rage.

    This isn’t anti-Semitism. Which is bad enough. But this is worse. We can expect to see more of it. It is kind of gratifying to see the monsters the educrats created in order to further the cause of communist revolution turn on their creators first. But eventually they’ll get out of college and they will be completely unsuited for civilization or jobs. Then the rest of us will have the problem.

    Steve57 (50e6a1)

  25. I first saw this idiocy with the Menendez bros jury, it’s quite clear, he’s guilty particularly with premeditation, but it’s like these new anti terror guides, that Rush was speaking about, there are no identifiers one can use to discern persons of interest,

    narciso (732bc0)

  26. we’re really dealing with mind arson, as robin a frequent commenter here points out,

    narciso (732bc0)

  27. Mind arson is a good way to put it, narciso. If anyone is unfamiliar with Herbert Marcuse, he was one of the founding members of the Frankfurt School and is sometimes called The Father of the 1960s. The cultural Marxists were astounded that the proletariat in the West didn’t revolt against the capitalist system after WWI. As good Marxists they knew it was a scientific certainty that such a war would drive the oppressed masses to overthrow their bourgeois exploiters. They concluded that the idiot proles didn’t know they were oppressed, and actually enjoyed the material benefits of capitalism. So the cultural Marxists had to come up with ways to train people to see the oppression of the capitalist system despite the economic benefits they enjoyed. That they were essentially being bribed by their oppressors.

    So what the political commissars posing as teachers had to do was first, sabotage the children’s minds by making them incapable of succeeding. Then, when they inevitably fail as they’ve been trained to do, convincing them that it is the oppressive system that is keeping them down. It’s why, for instance, women who get roped into getting degrees in nonsense like lesbian feminist literature by the charlatans from the womyn’s studies department blame the wrong people when they can’t find a job. Some figure it out, eventually. But most of them fall back on the indoctrination they received at the hands of the real culprits who poisoned their minds and filled their heads with garbage, and are convinced the only possible reason no employer values their masters degree in lesbian feminist rage is because the evil white cisnormative patriarchy is sexist.

    Markuse’s main contribution was to redefine tolerance. That tolerance as traditionally defined was a capitalist trick that allowed the oppressors to prevent the oppressed from developing their proper class consciousness. It was therefore the job of the educational establishment reject “oppressive tolerance” where all points of views including those of the anti-revolutionary capitalists can be safely expressed. Instead, they must adopt “liberating tolerance” where only orthodox leftist views can be expressed. And now views that aren’t even conservative but simply not enthusiastically socialist are shouted down as racist or sexist or whatever and anyone who expresses them must be expelled or, as we’ve seen in the case of professors or administrators, fired.

    I think the most amusing example of “liberating tolerance” was the reaction of the publicity chairwoman for the Muslim Students’ Association, Fatishtay Yamin, at Vanderbilt University when a law professor wrote an entirely accurate op-ed for the Nashville Tennessean how the Charlie Hebdo attack proved the critics of Islam correct about that religion and the violence its adherents are prone to commit in its name.

    …“What I’m really trying to show her is that she can’t continue to say these kinds of things on a campus that’s so liberal and diverse and tolerant,” Yamin said Saturday, according to The College Fix…

    Read more:

    Can you get your mind around that double think? And many students don’t even see the contradiction. Markuse and the 1960s radicals he inspired did their jobs well.

    Steve57 (50e6a1)

  28. Daily Mail:

    BREAKING NEWS: San Bernardino terrorist’s friend is charged with plotting to slaughter LA drivers in terror attack on highway and being paid $200-a-month for sham marriage with Farook family member

    – Enrique Marquez, 24, has been charged with conspiring with the gunman
    – Told FBI he bought two AR-15s three years ago as a favor for Syed Farook
    – Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik used the weapons to kill 14 people
    – Marquez is also accused of planning a widespread attack in 2011
    – Officials say he and Farook wanted to target a high school and throw pipe bombs onto a California highway
    – The criminal complaint says he listened to the teachings of hate preacher and imam Anwar al-Aulaqi
    – Marquez also said Farook wanted to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in 2011

    DRJ (15874d)

  29. I feel for the people who live in San Bernardino and the surrounding area. I know it can happen anywhere but it actually happened there. It must be very hard to stay calm, knowing that they are living in the midst of people willing to do these things.

    DRJ (15874d)

  30. I write to you from deep in the bowels of Riverside, Ca… no, actually, I write from my son’s house high in the hills of Riverside, which is just down the road from San Berdoo. I’ve got my eye out for any suspicious looking miscreants. I’m going to do a drive-by of that mosque the murderous perps were attending, just to see what a place like that looks like.

    Colonel Haiku (3bf827)

  31. Colonel Haiku (3bf827) — 12/17/2015 @ 4:32 pm

    I’m going to do a drive-by of that mosque the murderous perps were attending, just to see what a place like that looks like. </blockquote. There's two mosques. There's the one they were attending now, the Dar Al Uloom Al-Islamiyah mosque at 2013 Mallory St, San Bernardino, CA 92407, and there's the one they used to attend, or rather Syed Farook used to attend, in Riverside, California, praying there regularly.

    They shot the wife of the program director of the Riverside mosque. Four times, maybe, but they didn't kill her. If that's correct. The people from the mosque claimed four times, and claimed that that meant she was picked out. Somebody must have told them that. KABC, I think, says she was shot three times.

    Farook stopped going to the Riverside mosque in 2014 rather abruptly after his marriage. But he didn't move from Riverside until May of this year. The headline of the L.A. Times story the Wikipedia article that says he stopped attending in 2014 links to says he stopped attending 2 years ago. I would go with 2014.

    Sammy Finkelman (a69e24)

  32. Ok, they’ll probably get him for the straw purchase. Lying on Form 4473, to be more specific. It’s legal to buy guns and gift them or resell them — Sarah Brady bought one for her son, yeah, that Sarah Brady — but he’s not going to get the benefit of the doubt.

    Everything else is not even corpus delicti. An uncorroborated confession is not enough to establish the commission of a crime. Even better, the FBI did not shoot him like they did the suspected co-conspirator in the Boston Marathon bombing, and he will be a little bit important for the first time in his life.

    And California needs to close the dumb Mexican loophole.

    nk (dbc370)

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