Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Intellectual Level Of The Leftist Blogosphere (An Example)

Gotta love our moral superiors!

It begins with this post by a blog called Mahablog which was pointing to The Daily Caller calling for news organizations to issue corrections of their early reporting linking the Tuscon shooter to the Tea Party:

Wow, talk about trying to silence your opposition! I say again, if today’s Right ever gets unfettered control of the government, they’ll turn America into a totalitarian state the likes of which Orwell could not have imagined. They complain about “political correctness,” but no one dares not be “conservatively correct” in America.

Just wait — if it hasn’t happened already — somewhere, some wingnut mouthpiece will declare open season on anyone who thinks hate speech played a part in the shooting in Tuscon. Countdown to the progroms [sic] …

Got that? Calling for a newspaper to correct faulty information is the equivalent of Orwellian totalitarianism and a pogrom.

Now, I should have known better given this level of outright stupidity, but I decided to be neighborly, so I posted this comment:

If you are really interested in the connection between violence and ideas – and you do sound as if you are – I suggest you look at the FBI’s “Most Wanted” domestic terrorist list.

What conclusions do you draw from that list and the ideologies it represents?

Which drew this response:

Obviously, that right-wing terrorists get a pass. That’s been true for years. The Justice Department since Reagan has looked the other way at threats against abortion clinics until someone actually dies, for example.

To which I responded:


Wouldn’t it make more sense to say the opposite? (Unless you are complaining the Feds are not arresting people BEFORE they commit crimes.)

Do you know of someone who bombed an abortion clinic or killed an abortionist who is still on the loose? Hell, they unleashed the National Guard on that nutjob in North Carolina a few years back. It would make a lot more sense to say they are much more diligent going after those on the right as opposed to the left.

Still, now I know… you are not in fact interested in the connection between ideology and violence, only in bashing your “enemies”.

As I said, now I know.

Notice, to this point, only I have actually pointed to anything like factual information.

Here was the response:

You wanted to prove that only lefties are violent, dear. And I refuse to take the bait. Do take your hypocritical ass elsewhere.

Then I was banned from commenting.

Notice the delusional aspect of the reply here. I made no claim to the exhaustiveness of the information I pointed out. Indeed, the information I pointed out was collected by the FBI, not by some right-leaning blogger. To read this response at face value, it seems Mahablog thinks *I* have control over the FBI! ("Ground control to major nutjob!") But this is par for the course in the lefty blogosphere. When confronted with evidence they do not like, e.g. the make up of the FBI most wanted domestic terrorism list, they invent a conspiracy theory to make that evidence go away, e.g. right-wingers are secretly controlling the FBI's list making. Meet the lefty blogosphere, a place where Ockham's Razor is not welcome.

Mahablog also seems to believe their original post was a balanced assessment of the link between violence and ideology. It isn't. It only bashes the right. (The entire substance is in the quote I have above.) But, somehow, my response with information that doesn't fit their prejudices is deemed out-of-bounds.

Indeed, pointing out information they do not like makes me an "ass" to the likes of the enlightened there.

Meanwhile, a poster called "c u n d gulag" (gee, like Stalin much?) was free to post the following about yours truly:

"You probably won’t read this, but you might want to consider some salad’s. Your fat cheek’s are almost wider than your fedora. And you’ve got more “chin’s” than the Hong Kong phone directory. Also, can you really trust one finger to hold that fat head up?"

Ah the intellect of, I'm presuming, a 9 year old. And a racist 9 year old to boot.

That is the intellect that is OK at Mahablog. That is the writing that isn't asinine.

That such people, the author and gang over at Mahablog, routinely refer to themselves as "liberal" is a tragedy. If John Stuart Mill were around he would want to label himself differently.

What thinking person could blame him?


Anonymous said...

Umm, your FBI domestic terrorism page doesn't have any right wing terrorists on it. Seems to be primarily Earth Liberation Front. There are 9 pictures of people wanted for DT, 7 of them would be thought of as on the left, with 2 of uncertain ideology (Norberto Gonzalez-Claudio and Leo Frederick Burt). None are unequivocally on the right.

I don't quite see how it supports FBI your saying "wouldn't it make more sense to say the opposite" - i.e. left wing terrorists get a pass. 77% of the list is on the left. You're saying they get a pass?

Huttaree militia was rolled up before any violent acts. Right wing groups don't necessarily get a pass either.

You're being a bit misleading when you say "Only I have pointed to anything like factual information", as the original post did have links to Slate's reporting on right wing violence (Tennessee mass killer that said he'd prefer to be killing all the liberals in Congress), etc.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I don't quite see how it supports FBI your saying "wouldn't it make more sense to say the opposite" - i.e. left wing terrorists get a pass. 77% of the list is on the left. You're saying they get a pass?

No. Mahablog was saying the reason there were only left winger on the FBI list is because the Feds didn't prosecute right wing terrorism. An alternative explanation as valid as that conspiracy theory Mahablog put forward would be to say the Feds devote more energy to catching right wingers which is why there are none on the Most Wanted list. I don't really believe that is the case either, I'm simply saying it fits the facts as well as anything Mahablog put forward.

It seems more likely that there simply isn't as much right wing terrorism as left wing.

Oh, and I did look at the background of the other cases and found they were indeed leftist in origin as well.

And, when I talked about adding factual information, I meant in my personal exchanges with Mahablog. I'm taking her original post as the jumping off point. AFTER that Mahablog offered nothing but bile.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I will also point to this report from the FBI looking at the years 2002-2005 where they say the following:

"In keeping with a longstanding trend, domestic extremists carried out the majority of terrorist incidents during this period. Twenty three of the 24 recorded terrorist incidents were perpetrated by domestic terrorists. With the exception of a white supremacist’s firebombing of a synagogue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, all of the domes-
tic terrorist incidents were committed by special interest extremists active in the animal rights and environmental movements."

This seems to back up my feeling that there simply is more left wing terror incidents than right wing.

Anonymous said...

Is the FBI reporting political?

What do you have to say about the material reported at Slate here and here ?

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Well, there are reasons why those types of crimes are considered in the statistics as "hate crimes" as opposed to domestic terrorism. In the one case you had a man with a history of domestic violence who thought gays were keeping him down, and who also planned on being killed by the police. Still I'd like to see the piece of right wing literature that argues gay rights will keep anyone from getting a job fixing motorcycles. Yes, he obviously was a consumer of right wing books, but the triggering mechanism doesnt seem to be ideological.

As for the twice convicted bank robber, notice the original story didn't say what tv news programs the man watched. The assumption is made by Slate that it was Fox, but they dont know that. Neither do you or I. Besides, the SF Gate story actually TELLS us where this guy got the idea a "revolution" was coming: From his mother:

Janice Williams said she kept the guns because "eventually, I think we're going to be caught up in a revolution." But she said she had told her son many times that "he didn't have to be on the front lines."

The real common demoninator in these stories (with the lone exception of the abortion killing) is long term unemplyment for undereducated people. People like that often seek someone else to blame. Yes, someone could then come across right wing work that would give them an "answer", but they could have just as easily gone the other way, like the loon who tried to run Republican Katherine Harris down a few years back. So, on balance, I'd think these types of events would over the long term average out to roughly equal amounts of left wing tinged and right wing tinged events.

But if we are talking about violence done with a political purpose in mind (the definition of domestic terrorism) there is no doubt the left leads, and by a large margin. The popularity of the violent ideological strain of environmentalism embodied by ELF and Earth First! has a lot to do with it.

It isn't that there wasn't ever right wing ideological terror - there was in the past and unfortunately will be in the future. The difference is you will not find a neo-Nazi advocate fishing for converts on college campuses. You will for ELF (and for garden variety revolutionary Marxists for that matter.) That type of ideological extremism has been "mainstreamed" in a very real way. For example, no one at the University of Colorado had a problem with "indigenous advocate" Ward Churchill taking students out and teaching them how to use firearms for the day of "revolution." (Maybe the university thought when the revolution came Ward's students would shoot trap.)

Look, I want the right wing loons locked up every bit as much as the left wing loons. I just see no indication that the left knows there ARE left wing loons. In fact, given their wishy washy response to the MArxists, radical environmentalists and Ward Churchills of the world, I believe there is reason to question their goodwill or common sense.