Patterico's Pontifications


Choosing Sides

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 9:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Zombie compares photos from the March 20th anti-war rally in Los Angeles, California, and the March 27th Tea Party rally in Searchlight, Nevada:

“Two rallies, not very far apart in time or location — and yet they couldn’t be more different.

I consider myself neither left-wing nor right-wing, and I disagree with one side or the other on various issues — but after viewing these images, I don’t think there’s any question where I’d feel more at ease.

Below is a sampling of images from each rally. (Click on the links above for the full reports.) Scan them and tell me: At which rally would you feel more comfortable?

Show this essay to people you know who are liberals, or conservatives, or middle-of-the-roaders, and ask them: In all honesty, if you had to choose to be associated with the protesters at either rally, which would make you least embarrassed?

It’s a revealing comparison. What bothers me is I have no doubt which rally Barack Obama would feel more comfortable attending.


Anyone Recognize These Guys?

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Help Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette find these guys.


Midwestern Militia Members Arrested

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:33 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The FBI says 9 members of a self-described Michigan Christian militia who were planning to “levy war” on the United States have been arrested on terrorism-related charges:

“Nine members of a Lenawee County-based militia group were planning to “levy war” against the United States and “oppose by force” the nation’s government, according to an indictment unsealed this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Seven of the defendants of the “Hutaree” militia appeared briefly this morning in U.S. District Court in Detroit and were ordered held without bond until Wednesday, when bond hearings will be held. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet said he wants all the defendants held pending trial.

The five-count indictment alleges that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants were trying to use bombs and other weapons to oppose the U.S. government.

They had plans to kill a local law enforcement official and, once officers from across the country came to the funeral, to attack the funeral procession, the indictment alleges.”

Eight men and one woman were arrested. They may have planned to fight a holy war:

“The Adrian-based group has said it is training in modern combat techniques for a prophesized battle with the anti-Christ.”

Ann Althouse notes the indictment accuses them of planning to use IEDs considered to be “weapons of mass destruction.” Althouse says that “blows a big hole in the notion that there weren’t weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

One of the men is Thomas Piatek, a Chicago-area resident and truck driver who claims he was falsely accused:

“At a hearing Monday at the Hammond federal courthouse, Piatek denied wrongdoing and insisted he was not the same Thomas Piatek named in the indictment. “I’m not that guy,” he said, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ordered a special hearing Wednesday to establish Piatek’s identity.

Piatek told the court that he had been “raped” by property taxes on his residence, leaving him with only a few thousand dollars in savings. Tax records in Lake County, Ind., show Piatek paid $3,400 last year on time.

Piatek still lives in his childhood home, neighbors said. His mother once ran a flower shop from the Calumet Avenue house, while his father worked at one of the local steel mills. And his grandfather was once mayor of south suburban Calumet City, acquaintances said.

With both his parents dead, Piatek looked after his brother, Steve, and their two German shepherds. Neighbors said they occasionally saw him heading to a nearby pizza place or walking to the grocery a block away, but he rarely socialized.”

According to the last link, the militia’s activities were “hardly a secret” because it maintained a website with “videos of its men slogging through the woods and playing war games in their military attire.”


What’s in the Bill, Senator?

Filed under: Health Care,Politics — DRJ @ 7:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s time to play “What’s in the Bill, Senator?” with Jason Mattera. In this episode, Mattera asks Senator Al Franken two simple questions about the health care bill:

MATTERA: “Which of the provisions of the health care bill are designed to lower costs? Is it the provision giving $7B to fund jungle gyms or the provision mandating that employers provide time off for breastfeeding?”

Franken’s initial confusion suggests he (1) doesn’t know what’s in the bill and (2) thinks these provisions could be. (The breastfeeding provision is in the bill but apparently there isn’t a literal “jungle gym” provision, although the bill does authorize the “creation of infrastructure” for “healthier school environments.”) The video reveals Franken needs a bigger enforcer and shows, once again, that Franken is not a pleasant person — as illustrated previously here, here here, and here.

It would be fun if Mattera could make this a series but I’m sure the Democrats will be watching for him now.


Arrest in Cantor Death Threat (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Huffington Post reports the arrest of a Pennsylvania man accused of threatening the lives of Rep. Eric Cantor and his family … on YouTube:

“Norman Leboon, the man now charged with threatening to kill Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was arrested over the weekend, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia Monday.

Leboon made the threat in a YouTube video in which he leveled a variety of offensive and incendiary statements at Cantor and his family.

“My Congressman Eric Cantor, and you and your cupcake evil wife,” Leboon said in the video, according to an affidavit. “Remember Eric…our judgment time, the final Yom Kippur has been given. You are a liar, you’re a Lucifer.”

If convicted, Leboon faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

It appears that Leboon has also been involved in a lawsuit against Verizon regarding their alleged complicity in surveillance of US citizens and has been an active uploader of inflammatory and often anti-semitic videos.”

Posting a death threat on YouTube isn’t that bright. RTT News describes more of its contents:

“In the video, Leboon called Cantor a “liar” and made reference to a bullet found in Cantor’s office last week, saying, “You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer’s abomination.”

He also threatened to kill Cantor’s “cupcake evil wife.”

Though neither Cantor or his family were harmed, the Justice Department said the threat itself was serious enough.”

“Cupcake evil wife”?


UPDATE: The Instapundit notes Leboon is a Democratic Party donor who donated twice to then Senator Obama.

Obama Doesn’t Quit, Except When He Does

Filed under: Obama,War — DRJ @ 4:27 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters:

“The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don’t quit, the American armed services does not quit. We keep at it. We persevere.”
Pres. Obama to US troops in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010.

“Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year. ‘Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was,’ Obama said.”
Obama calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, AP, Sep. 12, 2007.


Terror Attack in Moscow

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 2:28 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Two female homicide bombers carried out separate attacks in the Moscow subway, killing dozens:

“Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up aboard packed underground trains at the height of the rush hour in Moscow this morning, killing 38 people and leaving an estimated 62 injured, according to the Russian security service.

The first blast came at the Lubyanka station in central Moscow at 07.56 (03.56 GMT), killing at least 22 people and wounding 12. The station is deep below the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, and just yards away from the Kremlin.

Irina Andrianova, a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman, said:”The blast hit the second carriage of a Metro train that stopped at Lubyanka.”

Commuters were killed both on the platform, which was packed, and in the carriage, she said.

Around 45 minutes later at 08.38 (04.38 GMT) the second explosion happened at Park Kultury station, close to Gorky Park, killing at least 12 and leaving at least seven wounded. The second blast also took place in a train carriage while it was stationary at the platform, Ms Adrianova added.”

There are unconfirmed reports of a third attack, and officials say they have not yet been able to extricate all the dead and wounded.


The Tea Party and Liberal Hysteria

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:55 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Some liberals pundits believe enraged right-wing extremists are close to mass lawlessness, if not mass murder. Take, for instance, New York Times columnist Frank Rich:

There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.

How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.”

Rich bemoans the fact that a “middle-of-the-road” health care bill could incite an “unglued firestorm of homicidal rhetoric, from ‘Kill the bill!’ to Sarah Palin’s cry for her followers to ‘reload’.” Ultimately he decides the last time America saw such lawless rage was the “national existential reordering that roiled America” as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The point, Rich concludes, is some people just can’t stand a black President and a wise Latina Supreme Court Justice.

And just in case you still don’t get the message that These People Are Dangerous, Rich punctuates his prose with angry and violent imagery:

“In fact, the current surge of anger — and the accompanying rise in right-wing extremism — predates the entire health care debate. The first signs were the shrieks of “traitor” and “off with his head” at Palin rallies as Obama’s election became more likely in October 2008. Those passions have spiraled ever since — from Gov. Rick Perry’s kowtowing to secessionists at a Tea Party rally in Texas to the gratuitous brandishing of assault weapons at Obama health care rallies last summer to “You lie!” piercing the president’s address to Congress last fall like an ominous shot.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory.”

Meanwhile, Sherman Yellen writing at the Huffington Post looks at Tea Partiers and sees murderers like McVeigh, Hitler, Oswald and Booth:

That Acrid Smell in the Air? Timothy McVeigh-ism
“Of course no two madmen or assassins with a grudge against the world are ever quite the same. But the common thread that runs through them is a deep sense of victimhood. McVeigh had it, Hitler had it, Oswald had it, Booth had it, and I can see and hear reflections of that dangerous victimhood in the far right today. The anti-government, in this case anti-Obama rhetoric is hate filled, some of it race based, and contains within it an unappeasable grudge — the us against them kind that sets off explosions, kills the innocent, and destroys the security of the country it claims to protect. If we sniff we can smell the burning fuse. There is no constitutional right to inflame sociopaths to commit murderous acts. Cool it Sarah, and all you Republican leaders who are playing to your base, using code words that are well understood by many who feel victimized because of the recession (just as Germans became targets for Hitler’s rhetoric because of the Great Depression). Sorry, reader, I’ve done it, slipped it in but I am truly worried by the parallels and hope against hope that I am wrong.”

How do you reason with that?

H/T Eric Blair.


Fort Hood is Known for … Hugs?

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 12:11 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Central Texas’ Fort Hood is special in several ways:

“Like the State of Texas, Fort Hood is big and boasts of being the largest active duty armored post in the United States Armed Services. Fort Hood is nicknamed The Great Place because of the quality of life the post and area offer Soldiers and their families. These qualities are important, especially with home-basing initiatives, frequent deployments and family stability and support.

Soldiers assigned to Fort Hood can expect to have one of the highest quality of life standards in the Army. New housing, quality medical care, thriving communities, recreation and schools combine to ensure that Fort Hood is The Great Place.”

There’s something else that’s special about Fort Hood. It has its own Hug Lady:

“Elizabeth Laird is the official Fort Hood Hug Lady.

The Fort Hood airport is her home away from home. It doesn’t matter whether a plane filled with soldiers is taking off or coming home. It doesn’t matter whether the plane leaves at 3:30 a.m. or arrives at 3:30 p.m.

The Hug Lady is here.

She wraps her arms around deploying soldiers before they board a plane and around returning soldiers just after they deplane. She is a one-woman welcome wagon and one-person goodbye party.”

Fort Hood estimates Laird has hugged at least 500,000 soldiers in almost seven years and apparently she hasn’t missed a flight. That’s nearly 7 years of commitment by Mrs. Laird, packed into a lifetime that hasn’t been that easy.

Well done, Mrs. Laird, as well as the Soldiers you hug.


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