Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just so you know

James von Brunn is a 55-gallon drum of duck vomit.

That is all.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mark,
couldn't agree with you more. One more point (of course). The DHS memo that went out a month or so back warning that there seemed to be an uptick in radical right wing chatter that might lead to political violence doesn't seem so far fetched anymore. Does it? Three deadly incidents in the span of two weeks; Could it be that Napolitano just might have been telling the truth?

Just wondering?

Rich

Gino said...

i cant see what is so 'right wing' about hating jews and beliving in white supremacy.

those were nazi hallmarks, and nazis were socialists, with more in common with the left than anything on the right.

Mark Heuring said...

No Rich, I don't agree. The DHS report dealt in strawmen. And this dude has been around forever and had attempted political violence in the past, during the Reagan years, I believe. The government and outside groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center have been watching this guy for years. He's also a very old man and probably wanted to make a splash as he neared the end of his life. Doesn't mean that an amorphous report suggesting a trend is accurate, especially since the agency in question walked it all back very quickly, as you'll recall. Then again, I'll accept the premise if you then are willing to connect a lot of other dots in a lot of other directions, which is something I'm often counseled not to do by my portside betters.

Scoring political points on something like this is beneath all of us. Can you agree with that?

my name is Amanda said...

Gino, the Left is about acceptance of all races/religions/sexual orientation. Nothing to do with Nazis. "Socialism" has an extremely broad definition, and anyway, they couldn't exactly call themselves the "Jew Exterminating Party," could they?

The word verification for this is "tryin."

Anonymous said...

Mark,
I do agree that scoring political points on something like this is beneath all of us. And what I am saying is that I think that many on the Right were guilty of just that when they accused Napolitano of political motives for unveiling the findings of a study that had been commissioned by the Bush administration.

You are focusing on the events today, but this was the 4th high profile act of violence committed by a FAR RIGHT wing whack job in the two months since Napolitano suggested there might be cause for concern. In that span of time, 2 Cops have been killed in Pittsburgh by a Gun Rights nutter, 2 people were killed and 4 wounded in a Unitarian Church in Knoxville Tenn. by a guy who didn't like the Church's stand on gay marriage, the incident today at the Holocaust Museum, and the assassination of Dr Tiller by an anti-abortion nut who insists that there are more people lined up to follow in his footsteps. (BTW, should that guy be tortured? That's the closest thing to a ticking time bomb I have ever seen. I don't want him tortured, but I am wondering what you all think.) Four incidents in such a short span of time seems pretty notable to me. So I reiterate, could it be that Napolitano just might have been telling the truth? Isn't it her job to reveal such things to the public?

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

Regards,
Rich

Margaret said...

This guy was just a hater. He hated Christians and Jews. He hated neocons, and he hated Bush and McCain too. He was only "right wing" in the sense that he admired Hitler and the Nazis. This philosophy has a pretty limited appeal in the US. And Napolitano talked about "groups." In both this case and in the Tiller case, the individuals acted alone and were supported neither materially, nor in any other way by a group. She's still way off base.

And what's the third deadly incident? The military recruiter shot by a Muslim?

Mark Heuring said...

Rich says,

I do agree that scoring political points on something like this is beneath all of us.

And then you spend a couple of hundred words doing it anyway.

Notice the pattern here, or rather the lack of a pattern. A guy in Pittsburgh kills people over gun rights. A guy in Knoxville kills people over gay marriage. A person kills an abortion doctor in Kansas. And now a known racist and anti-Semite kills a guard at the Holocaust Museum.

Let's see. I'm pro 2nd Amendment, have qualms about gay marriage (although I am on record as suggesting that the solution to this issue is to get government out of the marriage business altogether), and am pro-life. Am I a threat, Rich? You're pro-life, too. Does the murderer of George Tiller speak for you? You might also be for environmentalist causes. It's a matter of record that the Unabomber had a heavily annotated copy of Al Gore's Earth in the Balance in his hovel. Does the Unabomber speak for you, or for the Sierra Club?

Meanwhile, a converted Muslim kills soldiers at a recruiting station in Arkansas. You don't mention that because it doesn't fit the narrative.

Rich also says:

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

Damned straight, Rich. And your efforts to turn cigar smoke into a brushfire don't work here. If there's any evidence, as these cases are adjudicated, that there was some sort of coordination among these attacks, or that there was a group or groups that one or more of these guys belonged to, then the DHS report has merit and I'll walk back my comments. But for now, I call bullshit. And I also commend Margaret's excellent response to your attention as well.

And Margaret, thank you for stopping by. It was great to meet you at Ben and Faith's wedding.

Margaret said...

I feed your blog to my rss reader and read most of your posts, I just don't have time to comment that often! I think I picked up your blog a long time ago through a cross post at TN. It was great meeting you too.

Gino said...

margaret, i take strong issue with this:
"He was only "right wing" in the sense that he admired Hitler and the Nazis."

neither of them were right wing by any traditional or current definition.
hitler was a socialist.
with more in common with the policies, social and economic, of Obama than any GOPer you can possibly think of.

Mark Heuring said...

I don't know if this helps or not, Gino, but the way I look at the political spectrum is not as a straight line, but rather as a circle. The Far Left and the Far Right essentially meet in totalitarianism. They may espouse different goals, but operationally they act in the same way. It doesn't make a bit of difference if you get shot by a Nazi or a Communist. Ask the Poles.

Gino said...

rich:
if there is evidence that he has any knowledge of upcoming attacks, and a good chance he may provide info that will help us to prevent those attacks, then yes, if that is what it takes to get that info.

and i wouldnt call it torture,anyway.
and by you applying that term to process, you are setting up a straw man.

Gino said...

mark:see, you make a common mistake.
the right is about limited govt and expanded personal liberty. i fail to see how any of these two concepts could be taken to a dictatorial extreme on par with nazis or commies.

Mark Heuring said...

Believe me Gino, I'd like to agree with you that the Right is about limited government and expanded personal liberty. But operationally that hasn't always been the case. Up the thread, we have Amanda telling us that the Left is about acceptance of all races/religions/sexual orientation. But that's not entirely true, either, as anyone who has watched a lefty spew about the Religious Right can tell you.

I grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, the home of Sen. Joe McCarthy and the current headquarters of the John Birch Society. The Birchers aren't about limited government and expanded personal liberty. In fact, they'd be delighted to turn the apparatus of the state against their enemies in the same way that Code Pink would if given the opportunity.

This is starting to feel like a post. More soon.

my name is Amanda said...

Gino,
Please list the policies that Nazi Germany has in common with the Obama Administration. Your assertion that these two political groups are in any way related - just because you are using the EXTREMELY BROAD word "Socialist" - is absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that the Democrat party is not a "Socialist" party.

my name is Amanda said...

!

So the left doesn't include any Christians?!

I completely disgree, Mark. "The Left" objects to one religious ideology - Christian Protestantism (for the most part) - attempting to dictate to the rest of the country. What is disgusting about the "Religious Right" is that they manipulate voters who want to vote based on their morals in order to get Conservatives into office. Many, many Republicans feel alienated by the Religious Conservatism adopted by their party in the last 20 years. That's why the Republican party is foundering at the moment.

Mark Heuring said...

So the left doesn't include any Christians?!

Didn't say that. Wouldn't say that.

"The Left" objects to one religious ideology - Christian Protestantism (for the most part) - attempting to dictate to the rest of the country.

Which is why the Left dictates to Christian Protestants, right?

What is disgusting about the "Religious Right" is that they manipulate voters who want to vote based on their morals in order to get Conservatives into office.

Which we sometimes call democracy. But perhaps we can put a stop to such malfeasance some day. Last I checked, though, even disgusting people have a right to assemble and to vote.

Many, many Republicans feel alienated by the Religious Conservatism adopted by their party in the last 20 years.

That's true. And a lot of them seem to have op/ed columns at the New York Times. And if they have the better argument, they'll prevail within the party.

That's why the Republican party is foundering at the moment.

Maybe. But I suspect people vote their pocketbooks more than about stuff like that. Watch in 2010 and see.

Gino said...

amanda:
catagorizing people by race.
propagating a racial spoils system.
command and control of the economy.
ownership of means of production.
denying life to the inconvenient, handicaped, the retarded.

and its only been a few months...
just wait til they start dictating our health care.

and the democrat party is to socialist. just because they deny the lable doesnt make it so.

NAZI stood for 'national socialist workers party'.

mark: birchers always were nanny staters. they only were perceived as 'right' because they opposed communism. without that, they would been very good old school democrats.
individual liberty was never a strong point with them.

my name is Amanda said...

Thank you Gino. I was aware of the full name of the Nazi party. Oh, you have yet to name specific policies, so thank you again for proving my point!

my name is Amanda said...

"Which is why the Left dictates to Christian Protestants, right?"

OK. Then the Right doesn't dictate to the Left?!

Please don't mistake obnoxious individuals on either side, as the human equivalent of the ideologies represented by their party.

"Which we sometimes call democracy. But perhaps we can put a stop to such malfeasance some day. Last I checked, though, even disgusting people have a right to assemble and to vote."

They used Christian morals as device to get them to vote for policies that don't support their interests, because most people are too lazy to read about actual real laws going into effect. They feel more comfortable listening to soundbites. Despite this, I didn't say the voters were disgusting. I said the cynics in the party using the tactics are. And they are hardly religious people BTW. If you are satisfied with this form of Democracy, then you are a happier person than I!

And yes, I'm sure the Republicans will make a comeback. Personally I hope it's for a party that's closer to the roots of the GOP.

Mark Heuring said...

They used Christian morals as device to get them to vote for policies that don't support their interests, because most people are too lazy to read about actual real laws going into effect.

Ah, it's the old Thomas Frank "What's the Matter with Kansas" argument. In trying to show your solidarity with these individuals, you insult them twice by saying that (a) they are too stupid to understand what their interests are, and (b) too lazy to pay attention. Talk to some people on the Religious Right some time, really talk to them. And then listen, really listen, to what they tell you. Chances are they understand the issues better than you think, Amanda.

They feel more comfortable listening to soundbites.

And that would be the third insult.

Despite this, I didn't say the voters were disgusting. I said the cynics in the party using the tactics are.

Oops, that would be the fourth. The people who vote for such policies aren't disgusting, but they are too stupid to understand that they are being played. Is that it?

Here's the point of this exercise, Amanda. You would be rightly insulted if I told you that you don't know your own mind, or that you hadn't thought through the implications of your views. Although we don't reach the same conclusions, I don't doubt for a moment that you have thought, and thought deeply, about these issues. It's quite possible that, rather than being mind-numbed sheep who are led around by cynics, that the people who are on the Religious Right are voting their principles, based on their understanding of the world.

If you are satisfied with this form of Democracy, then you are a happier person than I!

I forget who said it, but I'll paraphrase: democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others.

kingdavid said...

"The left is about acceptance of all races/religions/sexual orientations"


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

That's a good one. Thanks for the laugh. The left only accept those who think exactly as they do, and is rife with the most intolerant people on the planet. They just like to tell each other they're tolerant while backslapping each other at Starbucks after a hard day of mocking, attempting to censor, or looting/rioting during "peaceful" protests against groups or individuals who don't agree with them.

Margaret said...

Gino, you illustrate one of the problems of these definitions of what constitutes Right or Left. I meant "right wing" as it's traditionally understood and still understood in Europe today. It doesn't mean what you think it means and it's not the same as in the US.

Anonymous said...

Gino,
If having the word Socialist in the name of the Nazi party makes it a left-wing party, can we then assume that the Peoples Democratic Republic of China is Democratic country and a true Republic? We all know what a Nazi is, but nice try.

Rich

Anonymous said...

Mark,
you have read way too much into what I wrote. I never implied that everyone on the Right is a bunch of homicidal maniacs. That is your take. Read what I wrote. I clearly wrote about "radical right wing chatter", "FAR RIGHT wing whack job", "gun rights nutter", etc. I was very purposefully drawing a distinction between the mainstream right, and the jackasses on the FAR RIGHT (upper case intended). And my point was that you should have given Napoliitano a little slack, because this stuff can blow back pretty hard when you are wrong. Honestly, I have spent the last 8 years telling lefties to shut the hell up when they accused the Bush WH of political motives behind the upping of the Security Threat meter. You know why? Because sooner or later, someone is going to be right, and the accuser is going to look like the douchebag that he/she is. I am very inclined to give the people at DHS a lot of leeway. They are trying to protect us. The lady released a report: one that had been commissioned and executed by the Bush DHS. It found evidence that indicated a spike in RADICAL RIGHT WING activity that could lead to violence. And there have been some very notable acts of RADICAL RIGHT WING violence.

And I still think the jury is out. The guy in Pittsburgh who killed the two cops said he did it because Obama was coming for his guns. The Unitarian Church shooter was PO'd about and stridently opposed to Gay Marriage. Not exactly a plank of the Democrat Party, but something that the Right has certainly triangulated on over the last few election cycles. The murderer of the abortion provider in Kansas has been a prominent member of the anti-abortion community for years, and has been a contributing writer to mainstream pro-life magazines. The douche bag who killed the guard at the Holocaust Museum is one of the original "Obama is not a US Citizen" birthers (just like Senator Shelby(R) of Alabama). And on the day we started this dialogue, two anchors on Fox News were pleading with their audience to get a grip and take a step back from the over the top rhetoric that the anchors were seeing in the email that was being sent to them. Lastly, yesterday, Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry issued a statement claiming that "there is visceral contempt for this administration, in the pro-life community" and that its existence makes violence inevitable. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/terry-press-conference-hot-wings-guinness-and-the-inevitability-of-violent-rightwing-extremism.php

Are you honestly comfortable with the tone here? And can you look at this and be so absolutely certain that Napolitano was fabricating her claims for political expediency? That was always my point.

Regards,
Rich

P.S. I love the stuff you do with Maria. She is one bright kid. And I can't imagine that Dorothy Parker was any smarter or more acerbic at that age.

Mark Heuring said...

Rich,

First, thanks for the kind words about Maria. She is a wonderful kid and has a tremendous sense of humor. She's been that way her entire life and she really keeps us on our toes.

As far as the DHS memo, it's not a matter of whether or not I am comfortable with the insane rhetoric of von Brunn. Of course not. I reject it out of hand. But I answered the point in the post I did on Thursday. Von Brunn does not belong to the right in this country any more than the Unabomber belongs to the left. These people are nuts. They are individuals. And that is what I object to.

Yes, the Bush administration compiled much of the administration in the report. But they did not release it, because the conclusions didn't pass muster. It doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Much has been made that this von Brunn guy was a Freeper. There are thousands of people who are registered at that website, just as there are thousands of people who are registered commenters at HuffPo or Kos or other similarly situated websites. Policing such sites is damn near impossible of course, and no one honestly believes that the guy who runs Free Republic believes what this von Brunn guy believes, any more than I would think that Kos believes some of the stuff that gets posted at his site, to say nothing of some the really toxic stuff that gets posted at places like Democratic Underground. It's just awful stuff and it's not worth it. But the crap seeps into the larger public discourse all the time.

And I suspect you know the reason why the Right is so leery of these sorts of things. We have had to chase out the various paleocons and Birchers and the like from our ranks over the past 50-60 years. We have been doing this consistenly throughout that time. The Democrats in particular, and liberals in general, have similar problems to deal with in their garden, of course: you really don't want to answer for some of the antics of Code Pink, or the LaRouchies, or ELF or ALF. They don't speak for you and you reject them as categorically as I reject the Birchers.

I'm tired of it, Rich. I'm tired of it all. I've said this before and I mean it -- if it were up to me, I wouldn't write about politics much at all, because it is such a dreary business. I'd rather write about old music, or volcano climbing, or the Packers or Twins. But I have to do it, because it's my way of participating in the debate. Stuff like the DHS memo, and the way it is used by partisans, just starts to wear a person down. I suspect you understand that.

Best,
Mark