Friday, June 26, 2009

Mitch Daniels Has Not Been Unfaithful!

Thomas at Capital Watchblog linked to this very funny faux news story from Olly's Onions:

At a tearful press conference, Indiana's Republican governor Mitch Daniels admitted that he has not been unfaithful to his wife, potentially scuppering his hopes of a run at the presidency in 2012. With a promising career in tatters, Daniels begged forgiveness of his family and party.

"I take strength from God, my daughters and my loving wife," Daniels said. "And I hope my fellow Republicans can forgive me for this shameful episode of not doing anything to be ashamed of."

The Republican party, long a bastion for white men that privately indulge in extra-marital affairs, prescription drug abuse, racism and approaches to underage boys while preaching strong family values, has been rocked by the revelations of a lack of revelations.

"It's a sad day for the party," Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele says. "You think you can trust a fellow GOP man to go behind the back of everyone close to him and still advocate hypocritically for biblical moral values. But I guess there's always a few non-rotten apples in every barrel."

I couldn't resist reposting.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Republican Women of Anne Arundel County Maryland Compare Obama to Hitler (update)

Yesterday I wrote about the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (Maryland) and the letter on their website comparing President Obama to Hitler. Well, it appears that public attention to that letter focused a bit of uncomfortable attention on the organization. The letter has now been removed from the website with the following added (in bold) at the top of the page:
The article put on our web site by Joyce Thomann was done solely by her. Our Board of Directors never saw the article and would never have approved it. We are not in support of Mrs. Thomann's personal thoughts ot opinions.

Ah, yes. Nothing like throwing the president of your organization under the bus. I'm glad that the board does not "support" their president's "personal thoughts ot [sic] opinions"; but, don't you think that an actual apology might have been appropriate: Something like "We don't believe that it is appropriate to compare President Obama to Hitler" or "We apologize for the damage Mrs. Thomann's words have caused to civil discourse in America"? Anyway, I'd sure like to hear the discussion those Republican Women of Anne Arundel County have at their next meeting.

It is also worth noting that Charles Thomann, husband of the Joyce Thomann, the president of the organization and woman responsible for the letter, defends his wife's comments, although he admits that they weren't "artful" (typos in original):

The husband of an Anne Arundel County Republican woman who wrote a blog plosting comparing President Obama to Hitler said his wife's comments have been misunderstood, and that criticism is piling up.

Responding to a message for comment, Charles Thomann, the husband of Joyce Thomann, the president of the Anne Arundel County Republican Women's Club, said his wife was in Denver caring for her ailing 96-year-old mother and could not immediately comment.

A Republican member of the five-person Maryland State Board of Elections and an adjunct history professor at Anne Arundel Community College, Charles Thomann, speaking on behalf of his wife, defended the online letter comparing Obama and Hitler and said "It wasn't meant in the way people are taking it."

Thomann conceded that "maybe she wasn't as artful as she could have been," referring to his wife's comments, but said he and his wife view Obama's push of what they deem socialist programs similar to the way Adolf Hitler spread the Nazi ideals in Germany.

"The methods that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [President] Obama are using to get the socialist view point across, is similar to what Hitlder did. And the German people regretted it. I just happen to be up on it. I happen to be a history teacher."

Thomann said his wife's email inbox is piled high with messages and he has been fielding angry calls from the public since news of the letter broke online. It has been linked from the Huffington Post and other outlets.

"We've gotten a lot of calls," Thomann said. "The liberal Democrats have really been pushing it. Most of it is very vitriolic. I think it's been completely misunderstood ... Once black woman, who said she was black, called and said, 'I really resent this because you're racist.' I told her we're not racist. We're delighted to have a black president. Heck, we'd like to see a woman president, too."

Kory Blake the chair of the Anne Arundel County Democratic party, said "That they would compare the president of the United States to the worst mass murderer in the history of the world, it's uncalled for and it's unncessary. It enforces, for me, the belief that the Republican party has been overtaken by an ideology of hate and they will do anything to try to discredit this president. Unfortunately, they carossed the line on this comparison. People all around the country are looking at Anne Arundel County and scratching their heads. It's appaling."

I'm not sure which part of this response I find most amusing/frightening. Perhaps its Mr. (Prof?) Thomann's inability to really understand why people were outraged by his wife's comparison. Perhaps it is his belief that the comparison was fair, if not "artful". Perhaps it was his "we'd like to see a woman president, too" to prove that he and his wife aren't racists. I guess, on reflection, I'd have to vote for "I just happen to be up on it. I happen to be a history teacher" immediately following his ridiculously inaccurate comparison of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party. By way of very simple example, have you seen any brown-shirted enforcers beating people in the streets when they disagreed with President Obama's policies or, for that matter, has the Capitol been burned in an arson blamed on communists (or Republicans)? If he's a history professor, then I'd have to say that the students at Anne Arundel Community College are not being particularly well-served by their faculty.


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Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)

In 1976, Charlie's Angels premiered on TV. I was 10 years old. I'm not sure if Farrah Fawcett was my first crush, but she was certainly the first celebrity that caught my attention (well apart from Kim Richards [of Escape to Witch Mountain], but she was my age, not a grown up). While many of my friends acquired the famous poster of Farrah, my mother went a step further and bought me a pillow with the poster emblazoned upon it. I loved that pillow and it made me a hero to my friends. Those were happy days.

Following the death of Ed McMahon a few days ago, I heard someone say that life can often be measured with the passage of stars from our adolescence. For me, Farrah Fawcett was one of those stars.


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LibraryThing: Several Updates

I've updated my LibraryThing catalog with brief reviews of Gone Tomorrow [Jack Reacher #13] by Lee Child, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats [Felix Gomez #1], and X-Rated Bloodsuckers [Felix Gomez #2]. I'm currently reading The Undead Kama Sutra [Felix Gomez #3].


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Republican Women of Anne Arundel County Maryland Compare Obama to Hitler

I came across a post on ThinkProgress noting that the organization Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (Maryland) had posted a letter from the organization's president comparing President Obama to Hitler. Below is the response that I drafted, but (for now, at least) have decided to simply post here, rather than sending to the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County.

* * *

I’ve just come across a letter on your website comparing President Obama to Hitler. As a reminder, here is what your website says:

Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common in my view. Obama and Hitler use the “blitzkrieg” method to overwhelm their enemies. FAST, CARPET BOMBING intent on destruction. Hitler’s blitzkrieg bombing destroyed many European cities – quickly and effectively. Obama is systematically destroying the American economy and with it AMERICA. First the banking/investment industry, next private enterprise (GM and Chrysler) and now HEALTH CARE. And he is working on grabbing more of the American economy with his environmental extremism!

We too CAN fight back. Contact everyone you know. Start a blitzkrieg of our own. Shut down the Capitol switchboards and the White House switchboards! Say NO to the Obamination of Obama Care!

This comparison is beyond vile and beyond what should be acceptable in a civil, pluralistic society. Coming as it does so shortly after the attack at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum really makes me wonder whether institutions like the Holocaust Memorial Museum are failing in their goal to educate people about hate and its terrible consequences. Clearly it is a lesson that your organization has not grasped; perhaps it is a lesson that much of the right has failed to learn and take to heart (after all, just look at the recent spate of violence from right-wing extremists, whether the murder at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the murder of Dr. George Tiller, or the murder of a family in Arizona by anti-immigrant activists). I often wonder if people who make comparisons like that found on your website actually want to incite violence.

I understand that some are opposed to President Obama’s plans. In a democratic society like ours, that is not only acceptable, but expected; after all, it is the synthesis of multiple ideas and viewpoints that helps craft compromise and/or lead to informed decisions. But disagreement with a political opponent is far different from comparing that opponent to the worst mass murderer in the history of mankind. To compare political debate with murderous bombing that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians is simply unacceptable; to compare those engaging in that political debate with those responsible for the mass murder of millions is beyond unacceptable. It is disgusting. And wrong.

I could argue with you on the merits of President Obama’s ideas and I could argue with you about whether he has endeavored to “overwhelm” his political opponents (who have yet to offer much in the way of real solutions themselves, relying instead on a strategy of “no”), but that is not the point of either this message or the letter on your website. I’ll simply remind you that President Obama’s policies are designed to protect American jobs and find ways to insure the millions of uninsured while driving down health care costs for the rest of us (and I’ll remind you that the banking crisis began while a Republican was in the White House). Those goals, whether you agree with them or not, are far, far different from goals of conquering the world and murdering entire populations of “undesirable” people. And, if you cannot see the difference, then I suspect that our democracy is in far more danger than any of us realize. There is no justification for your hateful and fear-mongering letter; it does not serve the cause of democracy, but rather feeds the fires of hate and mistrust that is dangerous in any society. We look across the globe and watch as other nations implode in hate and violence. Is that what you want for America?

Your organization owes an apology, not just to President Obama, but more generally to the American public who have been dis-served by your hateful rhetoric.

(Oh, and just for the record: The term “carpet bombing” is often used to refer to what British and American forces did to Germany during World War II; German carpet bombing was largely limited to the city of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War and London during the Battle of Britain. The term “blitzkrieg” refers not to bombing at all, but rather to a rapid assault launched by highly mobile forces, concentrating the operation on a single element of an enemy’s defense and using a breakthrough achieved to then attack the defending forces from the flank. So, not only is your analogy offensive, it is also historically wrong.)


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Where's Waldo ... er ... Gov. Sanford? (update)

I wanted to write a brief update to yesterday's post "Where's Waldo ... er ... Gov. Sanford?" before Gov. Sanford's 2:00 pm press conference. As you've no doubt heard by now, Gov. Sanford wasn't hiking the Appalachian Trail after all. Instead, he apparently "changed his mind" and went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to drive along the coastline instead. Huh?

A few quick points on this mess. First, two days ago was the start of summer -- in America. But in Argentina, that same day was the start of winter. According to, it is 52 degrees in Buenos Aires today. Second, a number of people familiar with Buenos Aires have posted messages on various blogs discussing that driving in Argentina is less a recreational activity and more a health hazard. Third, other people have pointed out that Argentina has a kidnapping problem; thus, it seems odd that an elected American official would venture to Argentina without a security detail and without alerting the American embassy of his presence (the American embassy in Argentina says that they were unaware of Gov. Sanford's presence in the country). Finally, think about how you might pack to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail at the beginning of summer and compare and contrast that to what you might need to travel to Argentina at the beginning of winter. Oh, and among those things that you probably wouldn't take with you to the Appalachian Trail would be a passport ... with an Argentinian visa. Can you get one of those visas on the day of departure?

And what does it say about Gov. Sanford's governing skills when he didn't tell his wife where he was going, doesn't bother to tell the citizens or the Lt. Governor that he was leaving in the first place, and lies to his staff about where he was going, undoubtedly knowing that those lies would be repeated to the press? Look, I don't think that politicians need to be squeaky clean or tell us much about their personal lives, but this is ridiculous.

Yep, it looks like the Republicans have found themselves a candidate for 2012!


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where's Waldo ... er ... Gov. Sanford?

Some of you may have been following the odd disappearance of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He apparently left last Thursday for destinations unknown (at least unknown to his wife and staff) and missed Father's Day with his four children (ooh, "family values"). His disappearance occurred shortly after he lost a battle (including a lawsuit) with South Carolina's legislature over accepting federal stimulus funds (he was one of the leading opponents of the federal government sending stimulus money to states -- along with Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal). Gov. Sanford apparently took a state-owned vehicle but left his security detail behind. The original explanation was that he needed to get away to "write" and to finish some projects (good idea to keep those kinds of details from your wife...). His security detail tracked his cell phone to Atlanta (and query why his security detail was tracking his cell phone...). Late yesterday, it was "revealed" that Gov. Sanford has been hiking the Appalachian Trail (so much for writing or finishing projects...).

Anyway, a funny video compilation has now been released:

You have to wonder whether, when Gov. Sanford disappeared, any hopes that he might have had to be the Republican candidate for President in 2012 disappeared with him...

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Status Update

I'm still here and I have plenty of things to talk about; however, right now I'm absolutely swamped at work (yeah!) and simply haven't had the time to write. I've got a few partially written essays that I hope to finish and post sometime soon and hopefully I'll find some free time to write about a few other things that are on my mind.

On a somewhat related note, Amazon has finally made a report available telling me about my Kindle subscribers and I'm pleased to announced that I have: one (well, I had two, but one apparently canceled before the end of the 14-day free trial). So, at 30% of $0.99 per month, I should be able to retire and focus on my blog pretty soon (at least if "soon" is measured on the scale used to measure the age of the universe...). Oh, well.


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Breaking News: 2 People Shot at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (update 2)

Moments after posting my prior entry, I came across an interesting video clip. FOX News now appears to be waking up to the hate speech:

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Breaking News: 2 People Shot at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (update)

Well it looks like the guard who was shot at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum earlier today was killed. According to The Washington Post:

Gunman Shoots, Kills Guard at Holocaust Museum
Suspect Identified as White Supremacist

A lone gunman known to authorities as a white supremacist shot and fatally wounded a private security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington today before being shot and wounded by guards who returned fire, officials said.

The security guard, who police identified as 39-year-old Stephen Tyrone Johns of Temple Hills, and the gunman were both taken to George Washington University Hospital.

Johns died at the hospital, authorities said later, and the gunman, who was not identified, was reported to be in critical condition. A third person sustained minor injuries in the incident, according to police. Museum officials said in a statement that Johns had worked at the museum for six years. The museum said it would be closed tomorrow, and lower its flags to half-staff, to honor Johns's memory. "There are no words to express our grief," the statement said.

A law enforcement source identified the gunman as James W. von Brunn, 88. On a Web site he apparently maintains extolling a "Holy Western Empire," von Brunn says he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, worked for 20 years as an advertising executive and film producer in New York and then became "an artist and author" living in Maryland.

Police recovered a notebook from the gunman that apparently contained a list of different D.C. locations, law enforcement sources said. D.C. police bomb squads were called to search and secure those locations after the shooting, including one in the 1400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.

"Everything is getting checked out," a police source said. No other details on the locations were immediately available.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who serves on the board of the museum, said in a statement, "We are horrified by what happened in Washington today. It is especially shocking that this attack took place at a museum designed to prevent violence and remind us of the dangers of hatred and bigotry."

Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said the security guard and the gunman were the only two people hit by gunshots in the museum shooting. He said the museum has been "completely secured and evacuated."

A spokesman for the museum, Andy Hollinger, said in a statement that after the gunman opened fire, "two Museum security officers returned fire hitting the assailant."

Police initially identified the attacker's weapon as a shotgun, but D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier later said it appeared to be a rifle.

The gunman "came into the entrance and immediately opened fire, striking one security guard," D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said. "There was gunfire returned; the gunman was hit."

Fenty said the gunman is in critical condition.

Fenty called the shooting "an extremely isolated incident" and said the security guards "performed exceptionally well and behaved exactly as they were supposed to." He praised "the heroism of the security guards."

Lanier said the assailant appeared to be "a lone gunman who entered the museum and opened fire with what appears to be a rifle at this point." The assailant's weapon was visible as he entered the museum, she said.

"Immediately as he entered the front doors of the museum, he raised the rifle and started shooting," she said. "The second he stepped into the building, he began firing."

Police have used bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep the museum and the area around it as a routine precaution, Lanier said.

An off-duty D.C. police officer who was nearby responded to the museum immediately after the shooting, along with U.S. Park Police who were patrolling in the area, officials said. They helped the wounded guard until medical crews arrived.

A spokeswoman for Wackenhut Services Inc., confirmed that the company provides security for the museum. According to the company's Web site, Wackenhut is the U.S. government's "largest contractor for professional security services."

The company has more than 8,000 employees in the United States and abroad. In the National Capital Region, it has 1,000 employees and 10 security contracts.

In a short biography on his Web site, von Brunn gave his birth year as 1920 and wrote that held a journalism degree from a "mid-Western university."

He boasted in the Web biography and on a Wikipedia page of an escapade in which he attempted to take over the Federal Reserve on Dec. 7, 1981, holding the Board of Governors "under citizens arrest" and charging them with treason. He was captured, tried and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. He blamed a "Negro jury," "Jew/Negro attorneys" and "a Jew judge" for his conviction.

Upon his release after serving 6 1/2 years in prison, von Brunn said he joined Mensa, the society for people who score in the top 2 percent of a standardized intelligence test. An executive assistant at Mensa, Joy Martin, confirmed that von Brunn was a member for a year starting April 2, 1987. But he was dropped from the membership rolls in 1988 for failing to pay dues.

According to the biography, Von Brunn captained a PT Boat in World War II and earned "four battle stars." That claim could not be immediately substantiated.

A woman who opened the door at von Brunn's apartment, in a neighborhood outside downtown Annapolis, declined to comment.

Neighbors, who asked that they not be identified, said that they recently invited von Brunn to their home for a drink and that he unexpectedly brought up his belief that the Holocaust did not occur.

"He didn't believe the Holocaust existed. It was just off the wall," one of the neighbors said.

The shooting was reported to police at 12:52 p.m., and officers rushed to the scene just south of Independence Ave. bordering the Mall.

Scores of police and emergency vehicles converged on the scene, blocking 14th Street, a major artery between downtown Washington and the Virginia suburbs. Police closed the area around the museum. They said they were trying to reopen 14th Street to traffic as soon as possible.

One witness, Dave Unruh, of Wichita, Kan., said he was waiting to enter the museum when he heard one gunshot, then a sequence of four or five gunshots. He said he then heard someone scream, "Hit the floor!" He and his wife, Karen, and their two teenage grandchildren dropped to the floor and were subsequently herded out of the building by authorities.

Unruh called the experience "intensely, extremely frightening."

By 1 p.m., the street in front of the museum was blocked by a museum police officer. A group of schoolchildren was rushed onto a chartered luxury coach and the bus driver struggled to pull away from the block.

Kimberly Frank, 44, of Chicago, said she was coming out of the museum with her 14-year-old son Tyler when "we heard shots, pretty consecutive, within seconds."

"We were on the lower level, just getting ready to exit," Frank said. "I was thinking about what I'd just experienced through the whole memorial. I wasn't thinking too much of it till I came outside and saw all the people running around."

Schlosser, the Park Police spokesman, said an unidentified man walked into the museum about 12:50 p.m. with a "long gun." The gunman was just outside the museum's metal detectors when he was confronted by a security guard, police said.

After the shooting, a U.S. Park Police SWAT team swarmed into the building and carried out a search for anyone else who may have been involved, Schlosser said. He said the gunman apparently acted alone.

Trevor Ezelo, 18, from Arizona, said: "Basically we were in the propaganda exhibit, walking around, and all of a sudden we heard five shots. We all started looking around. We didn't even think it was gunshots. We thought it was something that fell over. Then a security guard ran in, saying, 'Move back into the exhibit!'"

Then, Ezelo said, "some lady ran in crying, and we all knew something was wrong."

In a statement e-mailed to museum staff shortly after the shooting, William Parsons, the museum's chief of staff, said all staff and visitors were safe.

"One of our guards was shot and has been taken to the hospital," he said. "The suspect who committed the shooting was shot by our guards and has been taken to the hospital."

He asked employees to remain in their offices until police finished conducting a sweep of the museum.

Since it opened nearly two decades ago, the Holocaust museum has become a top attraction for school groups and tourists from across
the nation. Groups of various races and ethnic backgrounds converge on the striking stone building daily to tour exhibits that document, in chilling detail, the extermination of 6 million Jews and millions of other people by Germany's Nazi regime during World War II.

The museum also has played an active role in documenting and decrying what it describes as more recent attempts at genocide, including conflicts in Darfur and Bosnia.

Law enforcement officials attend sensitivity training programs there, and elderly Holocaust survivors have come to the facility -- children and grandchildren in tow -- for emotional reunions that attest to the failure of the Nazis to achieve their goal.

About 400 employees and 300 volunteers work at the museum, which is both publicly and privately funded.

The FBI sent "members of its National Capital Response Squad, including agents and team members on SWAT, Evidence Recovery and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, to provide on-scene support," said John Perren, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office's Counterterrorism Division. "The situation is fluid and therefore no other statements will be made at this time," he said.

A leading U.S. Muslim organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, condemned "this apparent bias-motivated attack" and said it stands "with the Jewish community and with Americans of all faiths in repudiating the kind of hatred and intolerance that can lead to such disturbing incidents."

So it appears that the hope that I expressed earlier today that this shooting would not be another violent expression of anti-Semitism looks to have been in vain. And I can't help but wonder if Mr. Johns, the murdered security guard, was the guard who checked me through the Museum's metal detector just a few weeks ago.

I tried to take a look at the webpage mentioned in The Washington Post's article, but it appears that the site has been taken down. I guess that's good; we don't need any more whackjobs being exposed to the killer's writings, but it would have been interesting to see if there was an explanation for the hate he must have felt.

I suppose Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and especially Pat Buchanan will blame this attack on President Obama, too. It is time that we start to take hate speech seriously. How many right-wing attacks does it take before we start to recognize it for what it is: terrorism? And how many right-wing attacks will it take before some of the crazy voices of hate on the TV and radio will recognize as (or be recognized for) inciting those attacks? Just think: Since President Obama was inaugurated we've had several right-wing attacks on police, the killing of an abortion doctor, and this attack at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, not to mention the arrest of at least one other right-winger with bomb-making materials.

Oh, and it's a good thing that it's easy to obtain hunting rifles!

(Update: I mistakenly only posted the first part of The Washington Post's article; the entire article has now been posted.)


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Breaking News: 2 People Shot at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

According to The Washington Post, a security guard was shot inside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.:

A gunman armed with a shotgun walked into the U.S. Holocaust Museum in dowtown
Washington today and opened fire on a security guard before being shot and seriously wounded himself by at least one other guard, authorities said.

The security guard and the gunman were both transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries, police said.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said the security guard and the gunman were apparently the only two persons who were shot. Initial reports said at least one other person sustained gunshot wounds.

U.S. Park Police said a gunman armed with a shotgun opened fire on the security guard and that other security guards returned fire. The gunman was reported wounded.

The shooting was reported to police at 12:52 p.m., and officers rushed to the scene just south of Independence Ave. bordering the Mall.

D.C. Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said there was no immediate information on the shooter. He said two men were transported to a hospital with "serious" gunshot wounds.

One witness, Dave Unruh, of Wichita, Kan., said he was waiting to enter the museum when he heard one gunshot, then a sequence of four or five gunshots. He said he then heard someone scream, "Hit the floor!" He and his wife, Karen, and their two teenage grandchildren hit the floor and were subsequently herded out of the building by authorities.

Unruh called the experience "intensely, extremely frightening."

By 1 p.m., the street in front of the museum was blocked by a museum police officer. A group of schoolchildren was rushed onto a chartered luxury coach and the bus driver struggled to pull away from the block.

I visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum three weeks ago. The facility was packed full of of families and student groups and I cannot begin to imagine how bad this situation could have been. Let's hope that this is not yet another violent expression of anti-Semitism.


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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Using Dr. Tiller's Murder to Espouse Anti-Semitism

Just a quick post of a quotation that I came across from James Edwards, host of an AM and Internet radio show (and former staffer for Pat Buchanan) talking about the murder of Dr. George Tiller:

I’m sure most Americans were shocked to hear that an abortionist was shot to death this weekend. The really shocking part was that it happened at his church - most abortionists attend synagogues.
Hard to spin that as anything other than blatant anti-Semitism.

Oh, and Pat Buchanan? He's been a guest on Edwards' show several times. For those interested, the Anti-Defamation League has an interesting expose on Buchanan's relationships with right-wing and anti-Semitic organizations. It is time for MSNBC to recognize Buchanan for the bigot he is and take him off the air.

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Mitch Daniels Says Indiana Voted for Obama as a "Fashion Statement"

I've never been a fan of Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana. I've disagreed with many of his policies and I've criticized him for not being more involved in the legislative process and for failing to use the office of Governor as a bully pulpit (although given what he has to say, maybe I should keep that criticism to myself). That said, I've never really thought that he was a bad guy, just someone with whom I had political disagreements. Then I read this article in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette that included this lovely statement from a speech Gov. Daniels gave earlier today in Washington:

"A lot of upper income people that I saw vote for him, it was a luxury purchase in the sense that it didn't seem threat a threat economically, there was the history of it, there was the natural desire for change after a period of poor results," Daniels said.

"Quite honestly, it was a fashion statement vote for some people. I'm not disparaging that. People wanted to demonstrate enthusiasm for a society that could elect an African-American president.

It was a "fashion statement" for the wealthy to vote for Obama? It had nothing to do with the war, tanking economy, belief that the Republicans had lost respect for the Constitution, distrust of Republican positions on social issues, or any of a huge number of other issues? I'm not sure whether Gov. Daniels' statement is more offensive to President Obama (in a racist sort of way) or patronizing to the the majority of Hoosiers who voted for him.
To go along with those thoughts, Daniels added:

"The meanest people in American politics are on the left, bar none. No conservative I know can hold a candle to sheer outright meanness. Of course, that comes from believing that power is everything and winning is the only thing that matters, which we do not believe," he said.

Daniels said conservatives will also make further strides if they embrace his advice: "I think we must be a friendly political movement."

He recalled Ronald Reagan's caution that "we have no enemies, only opponents. We are all Americans, after all."

Right. I guess that would explain those shouts of "Kill him" and "traitor" and "terrorist" being shouted at Barack Obama during the campaign or the popularity of Ann Coulter and books like Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism or the current cries of racism from Limbaugh and Gingrich and their gang or efforts of Republicans to disenfranchise as many low income or minority voters as they can or that whole torture thing that Vice President Cheney and much of the right are so enamored with. I guess what I find really funny (in a sad sort of way) is that Reagan's caution (which I was unfamiliar with) is precisely what I've said repeatedly in this blog over the last year and a half; however, it hasn't been the liberals that have been worrying me....

Do you suppose that this is another step that Gov. Daniels is taking to positioning himself as a potential Presidential candidate in 2012?


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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Radical Abortion Opponents Really Think

Yesterday's The Indianapolis Star included the article "Late-term abortion doctor fatally shot in church". The article included a statement from the president of Operation Rescue, one of the leading, radical, anti-abortion groups (note that Operation Rescue's website is presently down...):

"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down," Troy Newman, Operation Rescue's president, said in a statement. "Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning."
Of course Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, had a much less, um ... careful response:

George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

A few more points worth mentioning. First, remember that report by the Department of Homeland Security about rightwing extremism that the right was so upset about? Here is one of the points made in that report (emphasis added):

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to asingle issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

Finally, watch the following video of FAUX News' resident hate-monger Bill O'Reilly (from DailyKosTV) and see if you think that speech like his might have been an inducement to violence for someone like Dr. Tiller's murderer.

For a more detailed examination of O'Reilly's campaign against Dr. Tiller, take a look at the article "O'Reilly's campaign against murdered doctor" by Gabriel Winant.

It is one thing to advocate for a change in the law or to argue that people should not support a particular business. But it becomes something else to suggest that those who won't stop someone from doing something that is legal have culpability or are "bloodstained". At some point, people like O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and others, have to recognize that their speech has consequences and that those consequences aren't just found at the ballot box or in the halls of Congress. Those consequences also manifest at gunpoint.

And just for the record, I'm not suggesting that the media be censored; I'm merely suggesting that the media act responsibly.

(By the way, I actually wrote this yesterday but didn't get a chance to finish until today; and even then I didn't get a chance to add some additional news that I've read in the interim. If I have time, I may return to the subject later this week.)


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