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Friday Talking Points [351] -- Racist Domestic Terrorism

[ Posted Friday, June 19th, 2015 – 17:30 PDT ]

It's been a rollercoaster week in the political world, beginning with Hillary Clinton shifting the gears of her campaign by holding her first big rally, which was immediately followed by the man we're going to call "Jeb! Bush!" finally officially announcing his own candidacy.

For those who are wondering, yes, we here at the Friday Talking Points editorial board are indeed seriously contemplating making our own executive editorial decision to call him "Jeb! Bush!" throughout the entire campaign season. Jimmy Fallon actually made a good suggestion on The Tonight Show this week, that we all (in an imitation Regis Philbin voice) scream "Jeb!" whenever discussing the candidate out loud (another editorial idea we are endorsing). Earlier in the week I toyed with "Jeb?" (which has got to be the shortest headline I've ever written in nine years of blogging), or possibly "...Jeb..." but neither truly captures the ridiculousness of the exclamation mark. So we're thinking of just doubling down on exclamatory punctuation and calling him "Jeb! Bush!" in the upcoming months. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, as always. If it gets too annoying, we'll stop, how's that?

After Jeb! Bush! and Hillary's rallies, the entire world of late-night comics loudly praised all that they hold holy, when the news broke that Donald Trump was semi-officially entering the Republican presidential race (note: he still hasn't filed his official paperwork). The jokes just write themselves!

Trump began his candidacy by calling Mexican immigrants "rapists," and then in an ever-so-classy way moved on to sneering at the "jerk" conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, who is a "loser" because all he does is just "sit there." Krauthammer, for those unaware, uses a wheelchair. So this campaign will have no shortage of idiocies falling out of Trump's mouth, that is for certain.

If a few days go by without any Trump news to report on, journalists might want to check out his 2000 book The America We Deserve, which he used in an earlier feint towards a presidential run. There are all sort of fun things to mine out of this, Salon helpfully points out, such as Trump agreeing with Bernie Sanders: "I'm a conservative on most issues but a liberal on [healthcare reform].... we need, as a nation, to re-examine the single-payer plan."

A bit of trivia is worth mentioning that nobody seems to have noticed so far. Trump may have gotten the jump on whoever announces next on the Republican side, because Trump became the twelfth Republican to announce his presidential campaign. What this means is that the next entrant in the race will be unlucky thirteen. Who will be brave enough to defy this superstition? Who will be the thirteenth Republican to announce?

But we have to shift gears to a much more serious tone here, because this week ended with a tragic act of terrorism, in a South Carolina church. A young white supremacist shot up a Bible study group in an African-American church for purely racist reasons. After being arrested he has reportedly confessed to his crimes, and also to his racism.

Now, you'd think that domestic terrorism and racist violence would be pretty easy things to condemn. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Fox News tried to offer up an alternative explanation for the brutal killings, that the terrorist (they didn't use that word, of course) was really against Christianity. This fits in with their "Christians as oppressed members of our society" theme, but had no actual basis in reality. Fox bent over backwards to try to spin the killings as something -- anything -- different than an act of domestic terrorism by a racist. They weren't the only ones, sadly.

Much of the media just flat-out refused to use the words "terrorism," or "terrorist." Republicans (normally the ones who regularly castigate Democrats for avoiding the word "terrorism") backpedaled furiously away from even admitting that race was a factor, as fast as they could. The Department of Justice issued a statement which was pretty clear: "This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism." But few Republicans seemed to notice. Think I'm being unfair? Presidential candidate Marco Rubio spoke to conservatives after the shooting, and neglected to mention the shooting at all -- although he did find time to reaffirm his commitment to the Second Amendment. Rubio was merely the most egregious example, though. While some Republicans did have the courage to admit the reality of the situation, most either ducked or otherwise avoided the word "racism" entirely. The Huffington Post has a good roundup of what Republicans have been saying, if you've got the stomach for it. The worst of the bunch, by far, has got to be the National Rifle Association board member who actually blamed one of the victims since he was against allowing handguns to be carried in churches.

I mean, even white supremacists themselves are "worried Charleston shooting makes them look bad." It's pretty obvious what was in the young man's head, and it wasn't just free-floating hatred. It certainly wasn't anti-Christian hatred. It was racism, plain and simple. Why Republicans are refusing to admit this is unfathomable, in fact.

Moving on, because it is June, the Supreme Court is in the news. The two big decisions (on Obamacare subsidies and marriage equality) won't appear before the very end of the month, but we did get some other rulings this week. The Supremes also refused to take up a case where a North Carolina law was overturned, which keeps the ruling in place that forcing women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and coercing doctors' speech are both unconstitutional laws. So score a victory for doctor-patient confidentiality and the First Amendment (governmentally-coerced speech is the exact opposite of free speech). Two other Supreme Court decisions were also announced on the subject of free speech (which I wrote about earlier this week, for those interested). One of these is fast becoming very relevant, as it dealt with Texas refusing to put the Confederate flag on a specialty license plate.

Which brings us to the "worst photo op of the week," which we're going to close on today. The Washington Post ran an article on how the murderous rampage at the South Carolina church is opening up an old debate in the state over the Confederate flag -- which used to fly over the statehouse, in a proud statement to the state's treasonous past. The flag has since been removed from the dome, but still proudly flies in a Civil War memorial monument on the statehouse grounds. So an enterprising photographer took a photo from just the right angle to show the United States flag and the South Carolina flag both flying at half-staff over the statehouse, while the Confederate flag flaps in the breeze at the top of its pole. If we were in charge of the Pulitzer Prize committee, this photo would automatically jump to the top of the list for this year's awards.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We have an Honorable Mention to hand out this week, for Democratic National Committee spokesperson Holly Shulman, who wrote the perfect response to the news that Donald Trump had entered the race. We're going to provide the text of her comment later (as a talking point), though, just because it is so downright priceless.

Snark aside, this week's winner of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week is none other than Senator Dianne Feinstein. Now, as any regular reader of this column can attest, we're not the biggest fans of our very own senior senator. However, on one subject DiFi (as we like to call her) stands head and shoulders above the all other politicians in Washington, with the possible exception of John McCain. That subject is torture.

Feinstein has been leading the charge to both get the American government to admit what it did -- torture prisoners -- and also to do everything humanly possible to make sure it never happens again. This goal got a lot closer this week, when Feinstein won a successful vote in the Senate to codify this basic idea -- not torturing anyone -- into federal law. President Obama, of course, changed America's course when he came into office by immediately banning torture, but since this was just a presidential directive, it could conceivably be overturned by any future president. This is important, since of the four Republicans running for the office who currently sit in the Senate, only two of them voted to permanently ban torture in U.S. law this week (Rand Paul and Ted Cruz). Of the other two, Lindsey Graham (who, due to his career as a military lawyer, should really know better) voted against it. Marco Rubio was too chicken to even vote, but later said he would have voted against it.

The vote was a stunningly-lopsided 78-21 to ban torture. All Democrats voted in favor of the restriction.

While this represents a strong statement of American values, the measure still has to make it through the Republican-controlled House, so there's no guarantee it'll make it to the president's desk in its current form.

Still, the credit for getting the measure through the Senate in such spectacularly bipartisan fashion belongs to Senator Feinstein. Feinstein has been instrumental in exposing the brutalities of America torturing prisoners in the past, and this week she was instrumental in trying to make it impossible for any future president to contemplate repeating the actions of George W. Bush.

For that we applaud DiFi, and she certainly deserves this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Well done, Senator Feinstein!

[Congratulate Senator Dianne Feinstein on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

If this column had been written two centuries ago, we might have come up with awards for either the Federalists or the Anti-Federalists. This week contained a severe disappointment for the Federalists, as it was announced that Alexander Hamilton would be retired from his position on all our ten-dollar bills in a few years, to make way for an as-yet-unnamed woman. Good thing it's over two hundred years from Hamilton's heyday, since the partisan bickering (or what would have been called "factionalism" back then) between Washington's Federalists and Jefferson's Anti-Federalists was actually much fiercer than anything we see in today's political world. Don't believe me? Read up on the history of the 1800 presidential election (or the "Revolution of 1800" as historians now call it).

Getting back to modern times, however, we're going to slightly rename this award this week, and give a Most Disappointed Democrat Of The Week to President Obama. For the 14th time during his presidency, Obama has had to weigh in once again on a tragic shooting. The words he said this time were different, because in his remarks he essentially admitted that nothing is going to change any time fast on the issue of guns in America. He's basically saying that America will continue to experience these tragedies over and over again as the price for doing absolutely nothing to solve the problem. That's pretty disappointing, but it's really Obama's own disappointment that comes through in his comments (which is why we renamed the award). Here's what the president said about the South Carolina tragedy:

I've had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don't have all the facts, but we do know that once again innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now's the time for mourning and for healing, but let's be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn't happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing that the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it'd be wrong for me not to acknowledge it. And at some point, it's going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

Pretty disappointing. But also very realistic. Obama has tried to champion commonsense changes to our gun laws before, only to be disappointed at the inaction of Congress on the issue. He's admitting this reality, which is indeed a disappointment.

So this week we're going to give Obama a Most Disappointed Democrat Of The Week, and we have to say we share in the president's feelings. These tragedies are going to continue happening on a regular basis, and until Americans realize that not every advanced country puts up with such things so blithely, nothing is going to change.

[Contact President Barack Obama on his White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his own disappointment.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 351 (6/19/15)

Two program notes are in order, before we begin this week's talking points. The first is that while last week was notably the 350th of these columns, it also signified my ninth anniversary of being asked to write blog posts for the Huffington Post. My very first column was an effort to instill some backbone in Democrats, urging them to do their best to take back Congress, so it still actually has some relevance today.

The second program note is that this column will be on vacation next week. I can't even guarantee that I'll have a re-run column up on my website, in fact, and the best I can promise is that I'll see you all back here in two weeks. Just so nobody says I didn't warn them ahead of time, as it were.

OK, enough announcements, let's get right to this week's talking points, shall we?

 

1
   Racist terrorism

This one should be used whenever anyone -- in the media, in politics, whatever -- tries to use weasel words to describe the South Carolina tragedy.

"I'm sorry, but I can't use the terms you are using to describe what took place. This was nothing short of an act of domestic terrorism, from an individual who was murderously racist. Why is that so hard for some people to say? Terrorism is violence intended to bring change to society through fear. That's exactly what this young man was trying to do. It is a textbook example of domestic terrorism. The perpetrator himself has reportedly admitted to his own racist motivations for his heinous crimes. So please, let's call it exactly what it was intended to be and what it was: domestic racist terrorism."

 

2
   Maybe we should call in James Bond

The Pope certainly stirred things up among Republicans this week, by pointing out that mankind is the steward of the Earth.

"You know, I don't think there's anything in the Bible that talks about the proper profit/loss ratio for polluting businesses, which might come as a shock to some who are denouncing the Pope's new encyclical on the planet's environment. Republicans have long been advocates of 'cafeteria Catholicism,' where they pick and choose which Catholic doctrines they agree with (such as on abortion), and ignore the doctrines they disagree with (such as on the death penalty or war). I guess climate change is going to be one of those they ignore, at least from what they're saying after the encyclical was released. One Fox News commenter actually went as far as calling the Pope 'the most dangerous person on the planet.' Wow. Maybe we should call in James Bond or something, if he's really that dangerous."

 

3
   Congress does its job for two hours, then punts

This is just pathetic. There's really no other word for it.

"Ever wonder why President Obama feels the need to occasionally act without involving Congress? The answer is that Congress is incapable of doing even the most important of its jobs. Ten months ago -- that's ten months ago -- Obama began a military campaign against the Islamic State. At the time, Republicans complained that Congress should have been consulted. Obama stated that he had the authority to act, but then sent over a proposal for a new 'authorization for the use of military force,' in an effort to share the warmaking responsibility with Congress. This week -- the first time in ten months, mind you -- the House finally spent two hours debating the war. Then they gave up. Democrats had to use parliamentary procedure to even force the debate, because the Republicans running Congress have not done anything on the war with the Islamic State. Nothing. One of the Democrats pushing the issue, Representative Jim McGovern, did not mince his words, stating that Congress was, quote, guilty of moral cowardice, unquote. I could not agree more. They are indeed shirking their constitutional duties -- another phrase McGovern used -- and every citizen should bear this in mind the next time Republicans complain that Obama is acting without their approval."

 

4
   Argle-bargle

These next two are from Greg Sargent's Washington Post blog, where he's been doing a bang-up job exposing the doublethink of Republicans on what will happen if the Supreme Court strikes down the Obamacare subsidies. Some explanation is required before you read these next two talking points, though.

If the subsidies are struck down in the King v. Burwell case, Republicans swear they've got a plan to fix the problem -- but they won't say what this plan is, because they're already afraid of the political backlash it will cause. In essence, they are going to try to continue the subsidies for the next two years (which puts the end of them conveniently beyond the next election), while attempting to gut all the other parts of Obamacare. But in doing so, they have to square a circle of Republican orthodoxy. As far as Republicans are concerned, everything about Obamacare is bad. That's where they start from. But now they're beginning to admit that yanking the subsidies is going to hurt people. The New York Times has a good rundown of some of these hilariously pretzel-like statements (example: "We cannot sit idly by as millions of Americans lose their health insurance" from Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana).

Sargent has been blistering in his takedown of the core contradiction in this Republican position. The background to his comment below was a quote from a House member who stated: "I'd be willing to [continue the subsidies] on a temporary basis as we transition to something better. We all represent people in our districts who are victims of this law. We want to take care of our constituents."

Sargent then helpfully puts this in context, which we're gladly going to use as one of this week's talking points (note: emphasis in both these next talking points is from the original):

Yep, all those millions who would lose Obamacare subsidies are victims of Obamacare, and Republicans will protect them from Obamacare by temporarily giving them back Obamacare before repealing it for all its beneficiaries and replacing it with argle-bargle.

 

5
   Look over there!

That was pretty funny, but later in the week Sargent absolutely knocked it out of the park.

The GOP argument is basically this: Obamacare is to blame for the awful outcome of millions of people losing Obamacare, so Republicans will protect all those people from Obamacare by temporarily restoring their Obamacare, before repealing it entirely for all its beneficiaries, and replacing it with... "oh, wow, look over there, a unicorn is wandering through the Capitol!"

 

6
   All ten of them!

Hoo boy. This one speaks for itself.

"Disgraced former Speaker of the House Tom DeLay is now a political consultant. That means people actually pay him to advise them about how Washington works. If I were a client of his, though, I'd be thinking about asking for a refund. Recently, expressing his concern that the Supreme Court was going to legalize gay marriage across America, DeLay stood up for constitutional knowledge, saying: 'People don't understand the Constitution. We haven't taught our children now for three or four generations what the Constitution is, and the separation of powers.' He then zeroed in on the problem of the Supreme Court, vowing: 'If they rule against marriage, we will all defy them.' Only problem was, Tom DeLay is obviously just as uninformed about America's form of government as those children he earlier was so concerned about. He swore he'd stand up to the Supreme Court because: 'It's not in their authority to write law by ten unelected, unaccountable people, lawyers.' I'd like to take this opportunity to bet Tom DeLay a cool million bucks that he can't name all 'ten' Supreme Court justices. Think he'll take me up on it?"

 

7
   Much-needed (smirk!) seriousness (guffaw!)

And finally, we close where we began, with the uproarious political news of Donald Trump entering the race. As mentioned in the awards section, Holly Shulman wins the "best response to Trump's announcement" award, hands down, for authoring the Democratic National Committee's reaction statement, which is reproduced in full below:

Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days. He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation.

-- Chris Weigant

 

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

118 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [351] -- Racist Domestic Terrorism”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JEB! Wake up! Say something that's not bland! You were leading the herd until you formally announced you were running! I'm beginning to see why your consultants went with the exclamation point! Force of habit!

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice!

  3. [3] 
    dsws wrote:

    This week contained a severe disappointment for the Federalists, as it was announced that Alexander Hamilton would be retired from his position on all our ten-dollar bills in a few years, to make way for an as-yet-unnamed woman.

    I saw that, and thought that it was wrong. But I googled, and half the headlines seem to agree that Hamilton is being retired from the $10.

    Let's get it straight from the source:

    While the design process is complex and much work remains to be done, Secretary Lew has made clear that the image of Alexander Hamilton will remain part of the $10 note. There are many options for continuing to honor Hamilton. While one option is producing two bills, we are exploring a variety of possibilities.
    https://thenew10.treasury.gov/faqs

  4. [4] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Why Republicans are refusing to admit this is unfathomable, in fact."

    Haha. Racism is over, in fact. It's worse to call somebody a racist than it is to be one because nobody is racist because it's over, in fact. Republicans aren't even allowed to use the n-word! Political correctness is, in fact, the real threat to freedom. It's not over.

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Trump . . . moved on to sneering at the "jerk" conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, who is a "loser" because all he does is just "sit there." Krauthammer, for those unaware, uses a wheelchair."

    Actually, he said that about George Will and CK. It seems like a stretch to think that he was referring to the wheelchair. He was accurately accusing them of being useless, know-nothing talking heads.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, you'd think that domestic terrorism and racist violence would be pretty easy things to condemn.

    The racist attack IS easy to condemn..

    But it wasn't a case of terrorism, domestic or otherwise... Do I have to bring out the definition of terrorism??

    And the case for an attack against christians is a lot easier to make then you might think...

    The scumbag could have gone anywhere if all he wanted to do was kill a bunch of black people..

    He went to a church because he wanted to kill christians...

    Regardless of all that, the fact remains.

    This does not fit the definition of terrorism...

    But I find it ironic that the Left is falling all over themselves to scream TERRORISM when it's a racist white guy...

    Yet, this same Left will fall all over themselves NOT to scream terrorism when it's actually an Islamic terrorist...

    Sad... Iddn't it..

    Short and sweet.. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    JEB! Wake up! Say something that's not bland! You were leading the herd until you formally announced you were running! I'm beginning to see why your consultants went with the exclamation point! Force of habit!

    Still think Jeb is going to be the GOP candidate?? :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    MDDOTW award should have gone to Hillary Clinton, for blaming Trump's announcement for the SC church shooting..

    I mean, honestly.. How lame can the queen get??

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    These tragedies are going to continue happening on a regular basis, and until Americans realize that not every advanced country puts up with such things so blithely, nothing is going to change.

    If only the church wasn't a GUN FREE ZONE and someone armed could have stopped this massacre at the first shot..

    Guns don't kill people..

    People in Gun Free Zones kill people....

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I see the Left's problem, I really do..

    The Left has thrown around the term "racist" at the drop of a dime.. THIS is racist!! THAT is racist!!! HE is racist!! SHE is racist!!

    Everyone and everything is racist now so "racist" doesn't mean squat anymore...

    So, now the Left is in a quandary and needs a new term to invoke horror and outrage...

    So, NOW... Now we have "TERRORISM"!!

    THIS is terrorism!! THAT is terrorism!!! HE is a terrorist!! SHE is a terrorist!!

    And, when "terrorism" loses it's shiny, then the Left will have to find a new term...

    How about Genocide...

    THIS is genocide!!! THAT is genocide!!! He is genocidal!! SHE is genocidal!!!!

    The partisan agenda at work is so pathetic and transparent it boggles the mind....

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    You can mock the GOP all you want on TrainWreckCare...

    But there is one simple fact that you can't mock away..

    The American people don't like TrainWreckCare...

    The American people don't WANT TrainWreckCare...

    The American people NEVER liked TrainWreckCare...

    The American people never WANTED TrainWreckCare...

    "These are the facts. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    sneering at the "jerk" conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, who is a "loser" because all he does is just "sit there." Krauthammer, for those unaware, uses a wheelchair. So this campaign will have no shortage of idiocies falling out of Trump's mouth, that is for certain.

    I literally had to stop reading when I got to this part for reasons that should be entirely obvious. I was worried what might come next and petrified that there may be some attempt to link Trump's reference to some whole other thing that would have been completely inappropriate and just plain wrong.

    Judging from the comments so far, it was not mentioned, not even through the remotest comparison which would also have been flat out wrong. If the recent family tragedy is the reason why the reference was left out, then, for that, I am extremely grateful.

    I do fear, however, that there will be opportunities in future to go down this copious path and I hope the urge can be sufficiently resisted. Because it would be wrong. In any context.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and by copious, I meant to say, odious ... ahem.

    Don't even ask!

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely unrelated note...

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CH3x4AXWUAAdTKB.jpg

    What the hell is that!???

    Cuz it looks REALLY good!!! :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It looks like a smelt and they are very good!

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    mmmmmmmmmm

    That DOES look good.. :D

    Thanx, Liz...

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Once again, a mass murder demonstrates the safe political response to
    US gun violence is to borrow a page from engineering:

    If you can't find a way to fix a problem, sell it as a feature. "Guns for everybody makes everyone safer." Tried and true. Onward to the next incident!

  19. [19] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    “A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and “a new normal” cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good.” – Red State Erick Erickson

    . . . or racism from phony Christian persecution complex.

    It looks to me as if nobody has stopped him from conversing about his religious delusions or his desire to label other people as “crazy”. Of course, the GOP solution to our “crazy” problem is to let those individuals wander the streets or to sell them guns so they can shoot whoever it is that they hate for whatever reason. You know, a free market solution. Healthcare is a privilege, so the “crazy” people should go unmedicated if they can’t find a job with health insurance.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    The worst of the bunch, by far, has got to be the National Rifle Association board member who actually blamed one of the victims since he was against allowing handguns to be carried in churches.

    I agree it's reprehensible and ludicrous to blame a victim in this manner simply for a political agenda..

    Much as it is reprehensible and ludicrous to blame an inanimate object in this manner simply for a political agenda..

    Having said that, it is an undeniable fact that, if the pastor had allowed Conceal Carry, it IS very likely that he and many others would be alive today...

    Matthew J. Murray shot and killed two people in a church parking lot in Colorado Springs. 100+ victims were spread out before Murray as he began his rampage..

    A rampage that was cut short by a woman with a concealed weapon and the training to use it...

    Blaming the victim is ridiculous...

    Acknowledging that the outcome could have been vastly different if the pastor had allowed concealed carry is not...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    So, the column is going on vacation. Is it going to visit one of Club Med web sites? I can picture it in a conga line, tilting back a steady stream of rum based drinks, snorkeling through schools of virtual fish. On the other hand, the column is only 9 years old, so maybe it's going to Disney World? Or camp? I bet it's summer camp. Did you label all its stuff?

    Bottom line: the monkeys are going to be running the monkey house. Ook! Another roller coaster week. You may want to pick up a pressure washer at your local home improvement center....a couple of cans of Febreze too.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Guns for everybody makes everyone safer."

    Facts and statistics bear this out...

    I know that Political Correctness has a hard time with reality..

    But, here we are...

    An armed society is a polite society...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, the column is going on vacation.

    Waaaa????

    Did I miss something??

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bottom line: the monkeys are going to be running the monkey house.

    "IT'S A MAD HOUSE!!!!! A MAAAADD HOUSE!!!!"
    -Charleton Heston, PLANET OF THE APES

    :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    “A society that looks at a 65 year old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and “a new normal” cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good.” – Red State Erick Erickson

    . . . or racism from phony Christian persecution complex.

    What does racism have to do with Bruce Jenner pretending he is a woman??

    You prove the point I made in #10 perfectly, JFC...

    Everything is about racism.. Even a white guy pretending he is a woman..

    It's ALL racism!!!

    No wonder the Hysterical Left is looking for a new slur to fling..

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    dsws wrote:

    Congress does not make any of its decisions by means of debate and deliberation in its chambers. Some time spent in session is necessary to record the votes and so on. Any more time in-session time than that would be pure waste.

    Members of Congress need to study the issues, address constituents, stay current about the state of public opinion on issues they're dealing with, and negotiate one-to-one with other members. None of that is best done in the chambers. If they're in the chambers longer than it takes to cast a vote, they're not doing their job.

  27. [27] 
    Paula wrote:

    To every quivering wanna-be vigilante (only brave when armed to the teeth and looking for an opportunity to shoot someone) who thinks the answer to violence is to run around with unlimited guns everywhere: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/19/world/us-australia-gun-control/

    To NRA and every anti-gun-control coward: this massacre is down to you. You guys are the reason. You guys bear the blame. You will do everything you can to point the blame anywhere but at yourselves but it is you. When Dylann Roof loaded that gun and shot those people your hands were with him in spirit. Every one of you that promotes gun proliferation shares in the bloodshed when it happens. Every one of you that opposes rational, reasonable gun-control measures participates in each of these atrocities. If you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem, period.

    Meanwhile, as Sam Sedar put it, Donald Trump is actually the perfect repub candidate -- he embodies everything they cherish. He's rich (inherited wealth which he's reduced through bad busines practices), he reduces all problems to simplistic, bombastic aggression; he's uninformed; he likes bullies (admires Putin); he treats people as objects to be thrown away and he pays people to show up at his rallies because it's all about surface rather than depth or reality.

    I haven't heard his views on this latest NRA-sponsored killing but all he needs to do to be complete is pretend this was anti-christian killing rather than an attempt, as the killer put it, to start a race war. That and strap a nice big phallic gun on his back. Then he'd have the full hand. We'll see.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    It's interesting that you don't mention anything about what motivated this massacre. Normally, I'd say that doesn't matter.

    But, this is one case, I think, where the motive largely overshadows the method and, if guns were not so readily available to white supremacists then other equally lethal methods would undoubtedly be used.

    In other words, perhaps this is the wrong case to be focusing on gun control if it takes anything away from the focus being squarely on the issue of whether or not the American Civil War ever ended and what can and should be done about that.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    To NRA and every anti-gun-control coward: this massacre is down to you. You guys are the reason. You guys bear the blame.

    Yea.. THAT is about as logical as blaming the pastor...

    If you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem, period.

    Blaming every one but the perpetrator is part of the problem...

    Every one of you that opposes rational, reasonable gun-control measures participates in each of these atrocities.

    Reasonable and rational gun control measures are already in place...

    As you can obviously see, they don't help...

    But the solution of the anti-gun nuts is to disarm law-abiding citizens and leave them to be victimized by scumbags who won't obey ANY laws....

    Yea..

    THAT is logical... :^/

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    I haven't heard his views on this latest NRA-sponsored killing but all he needs to do to be complete is pretend this was anti-Christian killing rather than an attempt, as the killer put it, to start a race war.

    Sorry, you did mention it! As soon as you mentioned Trump I stopped reading ... :)

  31. [31] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "You prove the point I made in #10 perfectly, JFC... Everything is about racism.. Even a white guy pretending he is a woman.."

    LOL! Erickson was talking about the racist terror attack in SC. Once again, work on that reading comprehension bot.

    "What does racism have to do with Bruce Jenner pretending he is a woman?"

    LOL! I couldn't have said it better myself. Republicans will do all kinds of idiotic mental gymnastics to avoid admitting that racism exists even when the terrorist explains himself. Thanks for confirming that on a regular basis.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    One person with a gun at that South Carolina church would have saved 9 lives...

    But, apparently, with the anti-gun nuts, saving lives is not the goal..

    Pushing a hysterical and irrational agenda is the goal...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    Look at NYC which has a VERY strict gun ban..

    Ditto for Chicago...

    And yet, you claim gun bans actually makes violent crime go down...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    LOL! Erickson was talking about the racist terror attack in SC. Once again, work on that reading comprehension bot.

    Not according to what you quoted...

    Nothing about racism in what you quoted...

    This is fact...

    LOL! I couldn't have said it better myself. Republicans will do all kinds of idiotic mental gymnastics to avoid admitting that racism exists even when the terrorist explains himself.

    No one, except you, is claiming that racism doesn't exist..

    It's obvious it DOES exist...

    So, what exactly is your point??

    Ahhhhhh You have no point...

    Color me shocked.. :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, Australia didn't have a gun ban.. They didn't even ban most semi-automatic weapons.

    They had a VOLUNTARY buy-back program...

    No one in the US would be against such a program...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with gun control laws is that they cannot GUARANTEE that bad guys won't get guns...

    Ergo, this will leave law-abiding citizens at the mercy of armed criminals...

    Am I the only one here who sees that???

    Gun bans don't work.. It's that simple...

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    Roof had a manifesto: he was a white supremicist. http://crooksandliars.com/2015/06/dylann-roofs-racist-manifesto-gives

    We are being held hostage in this country by gun manufacturers and all the toadies that do their water carrying. Innocent people get mown down by lunatices who have been ARMED as a result of NRA sponsored politcial activity. Lunatics are motivated by ideas spread by the NRA and the rightwing machine. The rightwing is, collectively, like a bootlegger who walks into an AA meeting and starts handing out bottles of whisky.

    Re: gun contorl lawas -- have to be nation-wide. When done by individual states, other states with weaker laws victimize the rest. Cannot be a state by state response.

  38. [38] 
    Paula wrote:

    Do gun bans solve everything? No. Can they help? Most assuredly.

    Actually solving the underlying problems would take a good deal more. You have to get to the root of the fear people have. You hae to get to the root of the broken economy where citizens are struggling, angry and unable to get ahead. We have a toxic combination right now of a dying middle-class and an industry that profits from fear.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re: gun contorl lawas -- have to be nation-wide. When done by individual states, other states with weaker laws victimize the rest. Cannot be a state by state response..

    That is a VERY logical and rational argument...

    Now, apply that same logic to guns in general...

    If you can't keep guns from EVERYONE then the weaker ones (the unarmed law-abiding people) are victimized by the ones who are armed because they don't obey the law anyways..

    It's the EXACT same argument..

    Besides, you don't have a problem with guns...

    You don't mind if cops are armed.. You don't mind if Obama's security detail is armed..

    You have a problem with untrained people having guns...

    Guess what.. I do to..

    That's why there are LAWS that stipulate training...

    That is why if someone had had a CCW and a weapon at that SC church, it's likely that Roof would have been dropped before he fired a single shot...

    Do gun bans solve everything? No. Can they help? Most assuredly.

    You said it yourself. A gun ban must be universal ("nation wide")...

    If it's not, it will do more harm than good... It will disarm the citzenry and leave them at the mercy of armed criminals who, BY DEFINITION, are going to ignore the laws anyways...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Paula wrote:

    Personally I'm all for total disarmament but am willing to settle for guns having to be registered in a national registry; gun owners needing to carry insurance for every gun they own; most types of guns being banned altogether (anything that does multiple rounds fast, etc.) and gun-owners having to undergo training and obtain licenses just like drivers.

    Separately, we need to get down to business re; this economy, so that people have a living wage, retirement security and educational opportunities. Crime has been dropping for years, we can do still better by giving people something else to do with their energy. We also need real programs for ex-offenders and a variety of changes so that people who have been in prison have some way to live when they're out. Otherwise they are put in impossible situations and it's no surprise they end up returning to crime.

    Spending our lives cowering in fear and arming everyone is stupid and dangerous. It is a descent into barbarism -- we should be better than that, and people who want us to opt for more violence should be ashamed of themselves. But they never are because that's how they get their dough.

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think Liz called this one right..

    This particular shooting is not a good case to hang a gun control hat on...

    Like the Sandy Hook shooting, nothing could have been done to prevent this scumbag from acquiring a gun...

    But had someone in the church been armed, the massacre could have been prevented..

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally I'm all for total disarmament but am willing to settle for guns having to be registered in a national registry; gun owners needing to carry insurance for every gun they own; most types of guns being banned altogether (anything that does multiple rounds fast, etc.) and gun-owners having to undergo training and obtain licenses just like drivers.

    There is a history on National Registry...

    It's not very pretty...

    Spending our lives cowering in fear and arming everyone is stupid and dangerous.

    I can say from experience that spending one's lives cowering in fear and DISarming everyone is a lot more stupid and a LOT more dangerous..

    ESPECIALLY for the ones who are being disarmed...

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Paula wrote:

    Every mass shooting is a case for gun control. Trying to parse them any other way is simply an avoidance of responsibilty and an acceptance that gun manufacturer profits trump American lives and safety and peace of mind.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Every mass shooting is a case for gun control.

    That's like saying every car accident fatality is a case for getting rid of cars...

    Personally, I think that every mass shooting is a case for more CCWs.. It's a proven fact that there are less fatalities when the citzenry is armed...

    Trying to parse them any other way is simply an avoidance of responsibility and an acceptance that gun manufacturer profits trump American lives and safety and peace of mind.

    The problem is you are only interested in YOUR peace of mind and don't care about the peace of mind brought about by being armed and trained...

    Those people have as much right to THEIR peace of mind as you do to yours...

    I am betting that the family members of those killed in the SC church wish that they had had MY kind of peace mind rather than yours...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think Paula has, again, misunderstood my point.

    Which is that it is quite apparent that America still has not come to terms with its history of slavery and the end of the Civil War.

    Of course, every massacre is a case for gun control and for addressing America's unique gun culture. But, in this white supremacist-inspired massacre, there are other equally critical issues that should not be ignored.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that a National Registry would not have prevented the SC church shooting...

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which is that it is quite apparent that America still has not come to terms with its history of slavery and the end of the Civil War.

    One scumbag racist does not validate that theory...

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    According to the FBI and other agencies, this guy is hardly alone in his warped thinking.

    Have all parts of America come to terms with slavery and the end of the Civil War? Or, do you think that is not a question worthy of examination?

  49. [49] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth: I agree this country hasn't come to terms with the civil war. I believe that fact is deliberately exacerbated by corporate and political interests who benefit from the prevailing state of affairs. You've heard of "the southern strategy"? If you haven't, google it.

    Yes, the oountry needs to face up to the afermath of the civil war, just as it needs to face up to a lot of things. While it's doing that common-sense gun control can only help.

    But the blood-soaked adherents of unrestricted gun proliferation will continue to insist that their cowardice and credulity rule.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    According to the FBI and other agencies, this guy is hardly alone in his warped thinking.

    Even if you multiple the 1 scumbag by a factor of 100,000 that is still a small percentage of the US population...

    We have eliminated institutionalized racism. That is cause for celebration...

    Eliminating racism entirely is a pipe dream. An impossibility...

    You might as well try to eliminate hurt feelings or mean thoughts..

    It can't be done unless one advocates lobotomizing everyone who has a mean thought...

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's rather ironic...

    The knee-jerk reaction we see from the Left every time a mass shooting happens is identical to the knee-jerk reaction that the Left accused the Right of in the aftermath of 9/11..

    One coin...

    Two sides...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    But the blood-soaked adherents of unrestricted gun proliferation will continue to insist that their cowardice and credulity rule.

    No one is advocating unrestricted gun proliferation..

    Common sense gun laws aren't a problem for anyone...

    But things like National Registry is NOT common sense and it wouldn't do a thing to stop mass shootings...

    The best thing to stop mass shootings is to make sure they never get started...

    And CCWs and training will do that. Guaranteed

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    It can't be done unless one advocates lobotomizing everyone who has a mean thought...

    Paula, quit looking at me like that!! :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula, and everyone!

    I comment now and again at one other blog called Matters of Principle. The author is former Senator Gary Hart and I think you would be very interested in reading and posting there.

    Today, Senator Hart announced his newest book, The Republic of Conscience. Which is also right up your alley.

    We're spoiled here at CW.com but this is a worthwhile site even if you have to wait forever for your posts to pass through the moderation process there which is, evidently, handled solely by the very busy author, himself!

    http://www.mattersofprinciple.com/?p=1177

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    It just struck me ... I sometimes comment at another blog called Matters of Principle authored by former Senator Gary Hart that I'm sure you would love. Senator Hart just posted today about his new book, The Republic of Conscience. Which is right up your alley.

    We're really spoiled here at CW.com but MoP is a worthwhile site even if it does take forever sometimes for comments to pass through the incredibly slow ... er ... selective moderation system. Which, evidently, is handled by the author, himself!

    Anyway, here is the link to Senator Hart's latest post ...

    http://www.mattersofprinciple.com/?p=1177

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    test

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    It just struck me that you may very much like a blog that I comment at from time to time. It's called Matters of Principle and it's authored by former Senator Gary Hart.

    Senator Hart just posted today about his forthcoming book, The Republic of Conscience. Which is also right up your alley.

    http://www.mattersofprinciple.com/?p=1177

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    It just struck me that you may very much like a blog that I comment at from time to time. It's called Matters of Principle and it's authored by former Senator Gary Hart.

    Senator Hart just posted today about his forthcoming book, The Republic of Conscience. Which is also right up your alley.

    This comment won't seem to post when I provide a link so, if you're interested, just google Matters of Principle ...

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is a history on National Registry...

    It's not very pretty...

    http://offgridsurvival.com/wp-content/themes/church_10/images/2013/04/turninguns.jpg

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely (as I am wont to do on Fridays) unrelated note...

    Has anyone loaded up and used Windows 10???

    I haven't even messed with Win 8 except under a VERY limited basis...

    But, knowing the Microsoft Curse, I decided to take Windows 10 for a test drive..

    VERY impressed... The machine I am on at work would be considered a low-to-mid range machine by today's standards. And it's handling Win10 like a champ...

    If anyone is waiting to make the jump, Windows 10 seems like a winner...

    We now return to regularly scheduled mayhem... :D

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Here's how the FBI defines it:

    "Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

    * Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
    * Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
    * Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

    How does this not fit? See (i) in that second item.

    A question for you: do you call the Ft. Hood shooter a terrorist? I seem to recall you doing exactly that.

    My definition of terrorism is violence against civilians to instill terror in the populace, for political reasons. So, for a very different reason, the Ft. Hood shooter was not a terrorist. If he had shot up a town square, that would have been, but his targets were military.

    This may sound like splitting hairs, but that is the subject: how to split hairs when defining terrorism.

    Take the Provisional IRA. When they attacked and killed police in Northern Ireland, that was guerrilla warfare (and perhaps a war crime). But when they started bombing shoppers in London, that was terrorism. They crossed a big line, in other words, by shifting tactics.

    So was the Charleston shooter a terrorist? Yes, he was. He wanted to terrify the black population. He wanted to spark off a race war. That is political, as odious as it is. So he used violence, committed crimes, and intended to further his political aims by terrorizing (and killing) black people.

    So, like I said, that's my definition -- one where I split some hairs in what actions I label terrorism. I try to be consistent -- in other words, I apply the definition to the action, without regard to their actual beliefs. If a black man shot up a white church and left a manifesto about his hatred for all whites, I would call that terrorism as well. Consistent application means content-neutral in what I do (and do not) call terrorism.

    So where do you split those hairs?

    -CW

  62. [62] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    M -

    Oh, actually, (iii) fits as well. He assassinated a state senator. Please add that to my thoughts above.

    -CW

  63. [63] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [12] -

    I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here. Trump says idiotic things, and will continue to do so -- that's really the only point I was trying to make. I wasn't making any other larger point, I swear, even about Trump.

    Does that help to clarify? I'm sure I'll be highlighting other inane things people like Trump (and Carson, and likely others) say out on the campaign trail.

    -CW

  64. [64] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [21] -

    The column will be in Hawai'i, drinking Mai Tais.

    Heh. Yeah, this column wishes....

    No, I'm kidding... the column will not be on vacation, merely hiatus. The author (who just LOVES the "editorial 'we'" as well as personificating columns) will be hanging out with old school friends (that's "friends from my old school," not "friends who are fans of retro stuff") and going to a concert or two. Friday is the only day I'll have to hang out, so rather than trying to cobble together a sub-par FTP, I decided to just blow it off altogether.

    :-)

    Call it a "belated 350th week anniversary party," if you will, for the column.

    -CW

  65. [65] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws [26] -

    No, no, it's the column that'll be on vacation, not Congress!

    Heh.

    -CW

  66. [66] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [54] -

    Comments not posting? I'll check the spam log, and try to resurrect anyone's who got filtered. Sorry for the delay...

    -CW

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

    That's a very subjective definition... Anytime you get into issues of legality....

    A question for you: do you call the Ft. Hood shooter a terrorist? I seem to recall you doing exactly that.

    Actually, I specifically stated at the time that the Fort Hood shooter was NOT a terrorist....

    Albeit for different reasons...

    So where do you split those hairs?

    Tell ya what...

    When the Obama administration starts labeling Islamic terrorists, I'll reconsider my definition..

    This was a single shooter with delusions of grandeur...

    It's no more "terrorism" than the Columbine massacre, the Sandy Hook massacre or the Colorado theater massacre...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    If a black man shot up a white church and left a manifesto about his hatred for all whites, I would call that terrorism as well. Consistent application means content-neutral in what I do (and do not) call terrorism.

    So, if a black man shoots a bunch of cops, while expressing a "manifesto", you would label that terrorism??

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, just rescued a bunch of comments from not only LizM, but also Paula, dsws, and others. My apologies for getting behind on the maintenance, everyone. These comments stretched back to last week's FTP, so again I'm sorry for not keeping on top of these.

    Mea culpa.

    -CW

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Terrorism is defined as ongoing and systematic attacks of violence specifically targeted against innocent civilian/non-combatant persons or property for the purpose of furthering a political, economical or ideological agenda."

    Where is the "ongoing and systematic attacks"??

    A black church hasn't been attacked in over 50 years...

    Using your reasoning, I can make the case that it was an example of terrorism against christians...

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting comment from "Moderate".....

    chrisweigant.com Feb 2010

    Incidentally I think Michale's spot on with the "ongoing and systematic" aspect. That's why things like going postal or school shootings were never considered terrorism, even though they still involved civilian targets.
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2010/02/18/attacking-the-i-r-s/#comment-7699

    I rest my case.. :D

  72. [72] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Seems we agree on most of this. I also don't call Sandy Hook or the CO theater shooting terrorism. Not 100% sure about Columbine, did they leave any manifesto giving reasons for what they did? Were they political reasons? I don't know the answer, and don't feel like revisiting it. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't call Columbine terrorism.

    As for Ft. Hood, why wouldn't you call it terrorism? Same reason that I gave, or a different one?

    What is your definition of terrorism? I'm not trying to attack you for it, I'm just interested to know. I think you've posted a definition in the past, and I'd just like to clarify how you split the hairs.

    Terrorism (obviously) means different things to different people. The SC case, to me, perfectly fits the definition. It might not have, absent his manifesto (or it would have been a harder call, at the very least), but when the killer explains his reasoning, then it seems pretty obvious to me.

    Were southern lynchings terrorism? To me, that's another obvious call: of course they were. The intent was to terrorize the black population of the South. By violence and murder.

    -CW

  73. [73] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [70] -

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_arson#History_of_Church_Arson

    Church arson continued to be a problem in the South in the early 1990s among African American churches with the culprits generally being young, white males with racism as their driving force

    Congress actually passed a law about it in 1996.

    Ongoing.

    But again, what's your terrorism definition?

    -CW

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, just rescued a bunch of comments from not only LizM, but also Paula, dsws, and others.

    {{swwooooonnnn}} Yer our hero.... :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for Ft. Hood, why wouldn't you call it terrorism? Same reason that I gave, or a different one?

    I actually read that after I responded..

    I was on record as stating that the Fort Hood attack wasn't terrorism because it was a legitimate military target...

    As such, it simply cannot be defined as terrorism...

    What is your definition of terrorism? I'm not trying to attack you for it, I'm just interested to know. I think you've posted a definition in the past, and I'd just like to clarify how you split the hairs.

    "Terrorism is defined as ongoing and systematic attacks of violence specifically targeted against innocent civilian/non-combatant persons or property for the purpose of furthering a political, economical or ideological agenda."

    The only evidence we have of Roof's "agenda" is his own words and his own rantings....

    The Colorado Theater shooter dressed up as Batman... I don't think we can take the rantings of obvious psychopaths at face value....

    Now, if you want to muddy the waters, bring up Timothy McVeigh or the Boston Marathon bombers... :D

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [68] -

    No, I wouldn't. You're a military man, so you know the concept of what is and what is not considered a valid military target. See my IRA example.

    Anyone shooting cops or soldiers with a manifesto is not a terrorist. He may be a murderer or a war criminal or a guerrilla or several other things (none of them good), but I personally wouldn't call him a terrorist.

    The ones where it gets tough to define (using my definition) are things like the OK City bombing. It was a federal building, but most of the people in it weren't actual federal agents (ie. federal "police" or "military"). Also, there was a terrible toll among civilians who were also in the building (like the day care center victims).

    So I'd have to say that McVeigh was a terrorist. However, the bombers in Beirut were not, for attacking a barracks.

    I do agree that odious terms shouldn't be watered down, and have had heated discussions with lefties on the issue (not the term terrorism, but others such as sexism, etc.).

    Oh, wait, breaking news --

    I'm listening to ABC's "This Week With Whoever Is Sitting In For George Stephanoupoulis" and just heard Rick Santorum clearly state that he would define this shooting as terrorism.

    Don't agree with Rick on much, but have to say his answer was clear and unequivocal. Well done, Rick!

    -- OK, sorry for the interruption.

    As I was saying, terms should mean things (Horton the Elephant: "I say what I mean and I mean what I say"), and terms for evil should mean evil.

    So I worked out my own personal definition, and I try to stick to it. You may disagree on individual cases, but I think I try to apply it consistently.

    As I said, I think we agree on this subject (in general) more than we disagree.

    -CW

  77. [77] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    OK, I wrote that last comment before I saw your [75]. McVeigh, see previous comment.

    Boston Marathon bombers, yes, terrorists. I'll even go one further and call them Islamic terrorists.

    Happy?

    -CW

  78. [78] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, gotta run, more later...

    -CW

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    So I'd have to say that McVeigh was a terrorist. However, the bombers in Beirut were not, for attacking a barracks.

    Attacking a barracks OF SOLDIERS....

    Soldiers in the field or in the rear echelon are legitimate military targets...

    Again, if you want to muddy the waters... What about Military Housing Areas?? :D

    So I worked out my own personal definition, and I try to stick to it. You may disagree on individual cases, but I think I try to apply it consistently.

    I would be the LAST person to accuse you of inconsistency... Even though I may have done it once or twice in our association.. :D

    As I said, I think we agree on this subject (in general) more than we disagree.

    Agreed... I have to say that my case against labeling the SC church shooting as terrorism is not nearly as strong as I would like...

    There is a logical and rational argument to be made that the SC church shooting is akin to the OK bombing...

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    Boston Marathon bombers, yes, terrorists. I'll even go one further and call them Islamic terrorists.

    Happy?

    "Ecstatic..."
    -Jafar, ALADDIN

    :D

    Now, if the Obama administration could show an ounce of your integrity..... :D

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is a logical and rational argument to be made that the SC church shooting is akin to the OK bombing...

    But, in the case of the OK bombing, I would say that the choice of weapons is the determining factor...

    If McVeigh had chosen to arm himself with assault rifles and handguns, would it be an act of terrorism??

    I don't think so.. It would be more of a case of someone going "Postal" as Moderate above postulated...

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Church arson continued to be a problem in the South in the early 1990s among African American churches with the culprits generally being young, white males with racism as their driving force

    I would say that church arson, in and of itself is more akin to vandalism than anything else...

    I mean, how many synagogues have been "attacked" and vandalized??

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are "Military housing areas"? What does that mean, exactly?

    -CW

  84. [84] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    Still think Jeb is going to be the GOP candidate?? :D

    No, I don't. I never have. He is the one with the best chance to win the general election against Clinton. But I don't think he can get past the Republican primaries. He is way too moderate for them. I think it will be either Walker or Rubio.

    Just remember, you heard it here first. :-D

  85. [85] 
    John M wrote:

    I will throw one out for everybody to comment on. One of the major arguments against gun control laws is that criminals don't or won't obey them. "So what good are they?" Well, using that logic, criminals don't obey laws against rape or murder either, for instance. So, if that is going to be your main argument against gun control laws, why bother to pass any laws against anything?

  86. [86] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    It depends on the strength of the gun control laws. As you approach absolute bans, criminals very well may keep guns but they are more likely to store them buried in the yard or behind the pipes in the garage to be pulled out only when absolutely needed. When everyone has a concealed handgun under the coat and a shotgun on the truck gun rack, criminals, especially those who have yet to get caught and have convictions on their record, know they can carry guns anytime with little risk. And are therefore more likely to use them in situations where they are not warranted. If just the possession of a gun is a huge criminal offense in it's own right, the gun owner will likely be much more careful.

    The added care needed to possess a gun in a all guns banned environment also means you are probably not showing your friends your gun or leaving it out on the table or in the night stand. So much less chance for kids to find and play with it. I think this is completely borne out in the crime, homicide, and accident statistics of all the first world industrialized counties that have banned or severely limited guns.

    Now personally I think there can be only limited gun control in this country. It's too late, Elvis has left the building, the horse has left the stable, the genie is out of the bottle. We have too many guns and too deeply ingrained gun culture to get rid of or even significantly reduce guns at this point. Maybe gun control legislation could be enacted that might solve the problem in 50 to 100 years but to get rid of the guns in the USA in any short time frame would require basically taking the Constitution out and pissing on it then dousing it in gasoline and setting it on fire. Even if you somehow got rid of the second amendment...

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    LizM [12] - I'm not sure exactly what you're saying here.

    Heh. I just reread my comment #12 and I don't mind saying that it was hilarious! I'm still laughing - at it ... and at your response. Hehehehehehehe ...

    Ah, seriously, though ... I was afraid you were going to bring up Biden's call to "Stand up, Chuck!" and Chuck is in a wheelchair and well, you know ... everybody and their brother always bring this one up whenever they are compelled to say something derogatory about my favourite pol and I just couldn't bear it so I didn't read any further.

    That's all folks!

    :-)

  88. [88] 
    Paula wrote:

    Elizabeth: will check out Gary Hart's website!

    John M (85): Yep. Intelligent gun conrol laws are not going to resolve everything or prevent 100% of gun deaths but in places like Austraila where it's been done effectively there has been a massive reducetion in suicides, a 100% reduction in mass killings and a large drop in gun-based homicides.

    Lots of discussions going on today about this topic in several places. One point I want to emphasize: Dylann Roof killed those nine people because he believed a bunch of stuff that was simply false. He was a follower of a conservative website that went offline yesterday; the site listed falsified stories written to foster the idea that there's just constant assualts being perpetrated by black people on white victims. The site owner also closed down his twitter account.

    A lot of people want to say Roof is mentally ill. They don't want to face up to the fact that there are a whole lot of liars out there -- FOX News is their spiritual home -- who fabricate information and spread it in order to generate anger, hate and fear. And some people will go the next step and engage in violence. It remains to be seen whether Roof is clinically anything. Maybe he is. Or maybe he's just someone who was encouraged by lies to hate several groups of people, (his manifesto is also filled with anti-semitic slurs) and he was encouraged by people who like the idea of violence, to perpetrate it. His behavior was calculated and deliberate. If he was delusional he certainly was equally functional.

    Gun control will not fix that problem. Gun control addresses a symptom -- the underlying problems also must be addressed.

  89. [89] 
    Paula wrote:

    If you haven't seen this comedian address gun control check it out. He is hilarious and spot on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL8JEEt2RxI&feature=youtu.be

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    Forgive my ignorance, but what are "Military housing areas"? What does that mean, exactly?

    Military bases have housing areas for military personnel with spouses and families..

    Some of the housing areas are even detached and separate from the base itself.

    One of Vandenberg AFB's Housing Areas is across SR20 from the main gate of Vandenberg and has absolutely no access control at all..

    Okinawa has several military installations dotting the island and has a central MHA in the middle of the island. Makimanato Housing Area...

    Is an attack on a MHA a legitimate military target??

    Short answer. Yes

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    I think it will be either Walker or Rubio.

    I completely and unequivocally agree... :D

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, using that logic, criminals don't obey laws against rape or murder either, for instance. So, if that is going to be your main argument against gun control laws, why bother to pass any laws against anything?

    It's not an exact analogy because there are no legal legitimate uses for rape and murder..

    To give you a better analogy, look at a gun control ban the way you would look at a marijuana "ban"...

    Or, more accurately, making guns as illegal as marijuana used to be..

    That is a more apt analogy...

    There are those who want to ban marijuana utterly and unequivocally because, in their minds, it serves no useful purposes and actually harms and kills people..

    They are like gun control advocates who want to ban guns utterly and unequivocally because, in their minds, guns serve no useful purposes and actually harms and kills people..

    The same logic is in place for both examples..

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    but in places like Austraila where it's been done effectively there has been a massive reducetion in suicides, a 100% reduction in mass killings and a large drop in gun-based homicides.

    Australia does not have a constitutional right to gun ownership..

    And violent crime statistics were already going down in Australia when a partial ban was put in place.. The theory that the partial ban caused the lower crime rate is equivocal and debatable.

    There are more accurate and applicable examples of gun bans right here in the USA.

    Chicago... New York City.. Washington DC..

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    The long and short of it is this...

    Any law, repeat.. ANY law... proposed by the anti-gun crowd, short of a complete ban on ALL guns (which everyone knows will NEVER happen) would not have prevented the S.C. church shooting..

    Would not have prevented the Sandy Hook shooting.

    Would not have prevented the Columbine shooting...

    Would not have prevented the Aurora theater shooting...

    Ya'all remember the Star Trek episode A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR? Klingons were arming people of the village so that they could carry out a war against their neighbors, the people of the hills...

    Kirk's decision to arm the people of the hills equally was met with resistance from McCoy... McCoy wanted to confiscate all the guns (sound familiar??) but conceded that they couldn't confiscate the knowledge to create them...

    But Kirk's solution was the ONLY logical response to the problem...

    No law in the universe will keep the bad guys from having guns...

    So the ONLY logical solution is to allow the good guys to be as armed as the bad guys...

    You want to see mass shootings go down??

    You want to stop mass casualties before they start??

    You want to SAVE lives??

    CCWs, open carry and mandatory training..

    Those are REAL solutions.. Solutions that are PROVEN successful...

    An armed society is a polite and peaceful society...

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    The added care needed to possess a gun in a all guns banned environment also means you are probably not showing your friends your gun or leaving it out on the table or in the night stand. So much less chance for kids to find and play with it. I think this is completely borne out in the crime, homicide, and accident statistics of all the first world industrialized counties that have banned or severely limited guns.

    Look no further than New York's STOP AND FRISK...

    During SnF, gun possession arrests sky rocketed and violent crime plummeted...

    Of course, now that NY's new administration has eliminated SnF, the scumbags are back to carrying their guns and violent crimes are heading up at a brisk pace...

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    One of Vandenberg AFB's Housing Areas is across SR20 from the main gate of Vandenberg and has absolutely no access control at all..

    sjfm.us/temp/vandenberg1.jpg

    Okinawa has several military installations dotting the island and has a central MHA in the middle of the island. Makimanato Housing Area...

    sjfm.us/temp/maki.jpg

    Cut n Paste the links..

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Paula wrote:

    Gun fans like to operate as though their guns and gun culture just sit there by themselves, neither affected by nor affecting the rest of the country and the conditions thereof.

    But what's actually happening is that people, both feeders to the gun culture and members of it, deliberately foster fear and paranoia within the gun community. Some do it for money and some do it because they, themselves, have drunk the kool-aide.

    First they scare and enrage gun people, then they arm them. Then, when violence occurs they use it sell more guns.

    It's a perfect circle, with innocent Americans trapped between a bunch of paranoid scaredy-cats and wanna-be heroes who all picture themselves leaping into action and "taking out" the Dylann Roof's when they start to expressing themselves. They are blind to the fact that they created Dylann Roof.

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    But what's actually happening is that people, both feeders to the gun culture and members of it, deliberately foster fear and paranoia within the gun community.

    If anyone is fostering fear and paranoia, it's the anti-gun lobby...

    "OH MY GODS, WE'LL ALL BE KILLED BY GUNS!!!!"

    :D

    The calm and objective analysis of the facts clearly show that guns SAVE lives...

    Why else would we arm cops and soldiers??

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    One point you keep missing... Or ignoring..

    No realistic gun law proposed would have prevented the SC church shooting..

    But someone with a CCW, a weapon and the training??

    Virtually guaranteed it would have been stopped before the second death...

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    themselves leaping into action and "taking out" the Dylann Roof's when they start to expressing themselves.

    Is THAT what Roof was doing??

    He was.... "expressing" himself!!???

    You make it sound as innocent as a 4-yr old acting out...

    So, the psycho killer is not to blame..

    It's the gun culture that is to blame...

    So, we might as well just turn the scumbag loose, because it's not his fault...

    Let's run that by the people of South Carolina and see if they will salute that idea.. :^/

    Reminds me of the time that lunatic shot up Senator Giffords get together..

    The Hysterical Left got all up in arms blaming Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.. Only to discover that the scumbag shooter was a pot-head liberal...

    FACT #1
    Political ideology doesn't walk into a group and shoot people..

    FACT #2
    Guns don't walk into a group and shoot people..

    If the Left really wants to have a productive discussion regarding the issue, they need to come to grip with the above facts...

    But hay... If you REALLY want Americans to give up their guns, I am game..

    Obama's protection detail should be the first Americans to disarm... :D

    Lead by example.....

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gun fans like to operate as though their guns and gun culture just sit there by themselves, neither affected by nor affecting the rest of the country and the conditions thereof.

    But what's actually happening is that people, both feeders to the gun culture and members of it, deliberately foster fear and paranoia within the gun community. Some do it for money and some do it because they, themselves, have drunk the kool-aide.

    Marijuana fans like to operate as though their Marijuana and Marijuana culture just sit there by themselves, neither affected by nor affecting the rest of the country and the conditions thereof.

    But what's actually happening is that people, both feeders to the Marijuana culture and members of it, deliberately foster fear and paranoia within the Marijuana community. Some do it for money and some do it because they, themselves, have drunk the kool-aide.

    Yep... It still works...

    The more arguments I hear, the more I am convinced that the marijuana issue is identical to the gun issue..

    Both have their passionate defenders and equally passionate critics...

    Both guns and marijuana save lives and take lives...

    But, here's the thing...

    Marijuana possession is not guaranteed by the US Constitution.. In the SECOND Amendment.. Not the 12th Amendment. Not the 14th Amendment... Not the 8th or the 4th Amendment..

    The SECOND Amendment....

    Right after Freedom of religion, Freedom of assembly, Freedom of speech and Freedom of the press, we have the Freedom to own guns...

    Ya'all want to have Gun Control??

    Fine... Have at it...

    ALL you have to do is repeal the Second Amendment...

    Good luck with that...

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news....

    Iranian Parliament Chants “Death to America” – Votes to Ban Nuclear Inspections (VIDEO)
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/06/iranian-parliament-chants-death-to-america-votes-to-ban-nuclear-inspections-video/

    Obama may get his ObamaTrade....

    But it looks like he won't get his ObamaNukeDeal....

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know ya'all would rather cut out yer hearts with a rusty spoon rather than read Brietbart...

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/23/exclusive-ted-cruz-obamatrade-enmeshed-in-corrupt-backroom-dealings/

    But this is a very good read...

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay Goode Tricke?? You still around...

    I came across this comment of your back from Dec of 2013...

    The TPP, the level of secrecy surrounding the negotiations as well as the fact that there are enormous sweetheart deals for corporations should be generating some news interest. The thing that for me elevates the TPP as a nom for most under reported is the seldom talked about elevation of transnational corporations to a status on par with sovereign nations. If the TPP gets to the done deal status Citizens United will look like nothing compared to what will happen when a corporation can haul a nation into court and sue them because they don't like a set of laws or regulations.

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on the current TPP/TPA/TiSA are...

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/black-middle-schooler-challenges-obama-let-me-interview-you/

    HA!!

    12 Yr Old CJ Pearson has thrown down the gauntlet to President Obama...

    Let's see if Obama has a pair... :D

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all liked to say No Drama Obama....

    Seems more like No Balls Obama :D

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, people..

    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) today announced that Roger Ailes has signed a new multi-year contract with the Company to continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations.

    “I am grateful to Rupert Murdoch for taking the risk on Fox News to see it become the number one 24-hour news network in America. I look forward to working with Rupert, Lachlan and James to do my part to help bring 21st Century Fox well into the future.”

    The announcement was made by Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, to whom Mr. Ailes will jointly report.

    Looks like yer not going to be able to gloat about Fox News.. :D

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS NATIONWIDE HEALTH CARE LAW SUBSIDIES
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_SUBSIDIES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

    Life has little meaning anymore... :^(

    Michale

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    Basically the ruling is as I said it would be if they upheld the subsidies...

    The law is Too Big Too Fail....

    A Pyrrhic victory, to be sure...

    Michale

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    There IS a silver lining.. A small one..

    The Hysterical Left's claim that the SCOTUS is in the bag for conservatives has been, once again, proven to be complete and utter felgercarp.....

    Michale

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    "In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase."

    So, contrary to the rantings of the Hysterical Left, the plain english reading of TrainWreckCare IS plain english....

    But, the SCOTUS ruled that TrainWreckCare is too big to fail....

    The irony is palpable...

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    John M wrote:

    I was however correct, just as I predicted. The ruling was 6 to 3 in favor of Obamacare. Up next, gay marriage!

    " Roberts wrote. "Petitioners plain-meaning arguments are strong, but the act’s context and structure compel the conclusion that Section 36B allows tax credits for insurance purchased on any exchange created under the act."

    In other words, given when it plainly says elsewhere in the same law, and what those Congressman involved at the time said that their intent actually was, on the written record, "state" meant government in "general" and not specifically "state" as in state government only.

    That's a far cry from too big to fail.

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's a far cry from too big to fail.

    Whatever helps you sleep at night..

    In plain english, the court's ruling is thus"

    Yea, in plain english, the law clearly states that the subsidies are only provided to those states who set up exchanges. But that would cause too big of a problem, so we're going to ignore plain english..

    Their ruling IS logical under the TOO BIG TO FAIL concept..

    I don't begrudge them that...

    But it is beyond arguable that TBTF concept ruled the day...

    Which simply proves what I have said all along..

    The Left doesn't mind TBTF if it goes their way... Just like the Left doesn't mind Citizens United as long as they get their SUPER PACS too...

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's also undeniable that Gruber's statements spelled out INTENT, also in plain english...

    Ergo, the TBTF context is the ONLY thing that makes sense in the SCOTUS ruling..

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Whatever helps you sleep at night.."

    I find that a delta-wave inducer, prescribed by either Doctors McCoy, Crusher or Selar, usually helps. :-D

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    I find that a delta-wave inducer, prescribed by either Doctors McCoy, Crusher or Selar, usually helps. :-D

    Touche' :D

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    I find that a delta-wave inducer, prescribed by either Doctors McCoy, Crusher or Selar, usually helps. :-D

    I prefer Floxx myself...

    Anyone.. ANYONE but Bashir... :D

    What about Dr Pulaski??? :D

    Michale

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, since we're off on a Trek tangent..

    https://www.google.com/maps/@25.962769,119.6963728,810m/data=!3m1!1e3

    THAT is the kewlest thing I have ever seen!!! :D

    Michale

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