Baby Snatching: It's Hilarious When We Just Don't Like Their Kind

A fascinating culture-war blog entry plus comments at Wonkette, well worth reading for people confused as hell as why Sarah Palin is able to succeed selling a sense of "they hate us but really we are more than OK" to lots of Americans.

The setup: a couple in New Hampshire had their baby stolen from them by government agents--which I think most normal humans recognize as one of the most wrenching, horrific, violative of one's integrity and liberty things that a state, or anyone, could possibly do--whatever the reason for it might be.

The affidavit about the snatch lists ongoing charges of child neglect against the mother regarding her other two children, and charges against the father involving weapons possession without a license, as among the reasons for the kidnapping.

The affidavit also** [see update below]--and this is why it has become a populist right cause celebre on the Internet--the father, Jonathan Irish, has "associated with a militia known as the, 'Oath Keepers,' and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun, and taser."

Wonkette finds it absolutely hilarious that anyone might be alarmed that political associations (with a group whose greatest sin is a refusal on the part of its members who are agents of the U.S. government to enforce unconstitutional orders) and weapons possession might be among the reasons listed for the state taking custody of a child from its parents.

The author and commenters goes on with some incredibly mean-spirited class-based mockery that is actually kind of extraordinary--especially in the monolithic ability of people to laugh at baby snatching as long as it occurs to those kind of people. We don't like those kind of people. There is even an incredibly un-self-aware, head-up-the-ass comment asking the angry right-wing populists to do a racial inversion on the situation (the parents are white)--not wondering for a minute how funny Wonkette Assembled would find all the assumed language, class, and diet mockery in the thread in the case of such an inversion.

See some very pro-parent accounts of the situation from Alex Jones' Prison Planet site (including the first page of the affidavit) and from the Daily Tea Party site, including a YouTube interview with Mr. Irish.

UPDATE: The most recent version of the Prison Planet account notes that the point mentioning Mr. Irish's membership in Oath Keepers is from a "different separate document" than the apparent order regarding why New Hampshire's Division for Children, Youth, and Families took the child, which means the way the story was being framed by everyone from Prison Planet to Wonkette to me in the original post is almost certainly wrong--that is, his alleged membership in Oath Keepers seems as if it does not have anything to do with the actual legal excuses for the child snatching. [See Update IV below] That does not affect the strange reactions of the Wonkette folk, who believed that was the case as much as the angry right-wing populists across the Internet believed it was the case. (And as I believed was the case, given the way the document had been presented on those two sites earlier today, and is still presented on the Daily Tea Party site.)

UPDATE PART II: While it is unclear whether Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, was also misled, as Wonkette and I were, by the way prominent right-populist web sites presented the supposed documents, he is insisting on his web site that he has:

confirmed that the affidavit in support of the order to take the child from her parents  states ,along with a long list of other assertions  against both parents, that “The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers.”     Yes, there are other, very serious allegations.  Out of respect for the privacy of the parents, we will not publish the affidavit.  We will leave that to Mr. Irish.   But please do remember that allegations do not equal facts -- they are merely allegations (and in my  experience as a criminal defense lawyer in small town Montana I saw many allegations that proved to be false).

UPDATE III: The Concord Monitor reports on protests outside the hospital where the baby-taking occurred, with these details, sounding as if the reporter saw the whole affidavit, with more details on the accusations against the parents. (Whether anyone thinks an act of violence as severe as taking a newborn from parents is justified by these sorts of procedures is the big question):

By mid afternoon, about 20 people who had never met the couple gathered at Concord Hospital to protest what they termed the state's unconstitutional interference in a family matter. None claimed to know anything about government's allegations that Irish had beaten his fiancee or her young children, but they said they were outraged that the affidavit supporting the taking of his newborn mentioned Irish's association with a group called the Oath Keepers....

But according to an affidavit provided to Irish by the state Division for Children, Youth and Families, state officials took the child because of Irish's long record of violence and abuse. According to the affidavit, a judge determined that Irish abused Taylor's two other children. She is still married to the father of those children, though Taylor said yesterday that her husband has refused to accept her divorce petition for the past two years.

The affidavit also says that the police in Rochester report a "lengthy history of domestic violence" between Taylor and Irish, and that she accused him of choking and hitting her on more than one occasion. According to the document, Irish failed to complete a domestic violence course as ordered by the state, and that a hearing was held last month to terminate Taylor's parental rights over her two older children.

Taylor "has failed to recognize the impact of domestic violence in her life and the potential danger it poses to a newborn baby," the affidavit reads. "Mr. Irish has not acknowledged any responsibility to date and remains a significant safety risk to an infant in his care. . . . Without the intervention of the court, the infant will be at risk of harm."

Irish, 24, said in an interview yesterday that he had never abused his fiancee or her other children. He said he was unemployed and collected disability because he is blind in his left eye from a childhood accident. He said that Taylor suffers from "stress-induced seizure disorder" and that complications during her pregnancy required him to tend to her almost constantly. He said he has no lawyer, though a hearing in the matter has been scheduled for next week.

The affidavit also states that Irish is "associated with a militia known as the Oath Keepers and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and Taser."

And the FBI brought bomb-sniffing dogs to the protest, reports local TV station WMUR.

UPDATE IV: Stuart Rhodes at the Oathkeepers site provides an actual scanned (though with some of the specific accusations against the couple redacted) version of the documents that show that indeed, despite the confusing way Prison Planet first presented them, that noting Irish's Oathkeepers membership was indeed part of the official set of reasons stated for snatching his girlfriend's and his baby. Relevent quotes from Rhodes:

below you will find an embedded PDF which contains the full (though redacted) versions of the following documents:  the two Petitions (one pertaining to each parent), the Court’s Ex Parte Order, the  Affidavit of Dana Bickford which was attached, the Motion for Change of Venue, and lastly, the Notice to Accused Parent, explaining the legal process.   We have highlighted in yellow all text where the Petitions or the Court Order refers to the Affidavit which contains reference to Oath Keepers.

By looking at the below documents, you will be able to see from the two Petitions, the Order, and Affidavit item #7, in that order, that:

1.  Both Petitions state:  “7. Details or Details or facts of abuse/neglect (attach separate sheet if necessary):  See affidavit filed with the Concord Family Court.”

2.  The Court’s Ex Parte Order states:

“Findings of Fact:

There is reasonable cause to believe that the child is in such circumstances or surroundings as would present an imminent danger to the child’s health or life, which require the immediate placement of the child for the following reasons:

See attached affidavit”

Thus, the Court’s Order does, in fact, refer to, and adopt all of the reasons given in the Affidavit as being the reasons for the order.

3.  The Attached Affidavit, referenced by the Petitions and adopted by the Court as its findings of fact, includes, at #7:  “The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the, “Oath Keepers,” and had purchased several different types of weapons, including a rifle, handgun and taser.”

This is how all such petitions are done.  The same goes for a restraining order. The petition is supported by affidavit laying out the reasons, and then if the judge finds those reasons sufficient, he or she issues the order. Such orders always rely on the affidavit attached to the petition.  And in this case, the Order explicitly states that the reasons in support are listed in the “attached affidavit.”

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  • ||

    They really do live in a hermetically sealed opinion bubble don't they.

    That thread shows why the liberal outrage of Sarah Palin's "real america comment" is completely laughable.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "They really do live in a hermetically sealed opinion bubble don't they."

    Yes, it's called the second grade.

  • ||

    You're be far too kind! I've worked with second graders and they have a much better grasp of reality.

  • ||

    I hope you weren't teaching them English.

  • ||

    For a lot of 'em, it seems, other people's rights really are a popularity contest.

    You figure out ways to make people you like popular, and then their rights are respected--and then the trick is to make your enemies as unpopular as possible...

    So their rights won't be respected.

    It leads to the most hateful intolerant and insensitive rhetoric imaginable--featuring identity politics and the whole nine yards.

    They really are just as bad as the galumphing neoconservative cheerleaders were during the worst of the Bush Adminsitration...

    Making light of torture photos, laughing it up about stripping someone's children away--it all comes from the same place. It really is the same kinda thing.

  • ||

    The rights of children not to be abused don't come into your equation anywhere, I see. Ooops, silly me! To libertards and wingnuts, children are their parents' property, to be disposed of as they wish!

  • Alan||

    Agreed. I'm not enamoured of the more ignorant breed of conservatives, but those comments from presumably educated progressives demonstrate very well just how morally bankrupt and intellectually deficient they are.

    Any lady or gentleman would know better.

  • shrike||

    The comments are funny. Mocking hayseeds is a time-honored American tradition with Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken leading the way.

    Now that they have a funny new name and patron airhead Moose-skinner from Wasilla its even funnier.

  • ||

    Mark Twain made fun of people for falling into industrial machinery and being made into carpets. Mencken made fun of stupid people for being stupid.

    I don't recall either one of them ever making fun of people because the government took their children away, and if either one of them were alive today? I suspect they'd be making fun of the scoffing hayseeds who somehow imagine themselves superior to the object of their ridicule.

    I don't think they'd think the bumpkins in this farce are who you think they are.

  • Alan||

    Mark Twain made fun of hayseeds, to be sure, but in a humane manner that reflected their flawed humanity. The comments in question do not begin to be worthy of Mark Twain.

    I imagine that Mencken could heap a fair amount of scorn on Mr. Irish, but would hold the authors of those comments in even deeper contempt.

    We expect hayseeds to be hayseeds. They don't know any better. These educated and spoiled brats, however, really ought to know better, and their comments betray them as the petty and vicious sorts that they really are. Their civilisation has a very thin veneer indeed.

  • ||

    "These educated and spoiled brats, however, really ought to know better, and their comments betray them as the petty and vicious sorts that they really are."

    That's just it.

    They aren't any better than the people they ridicule--in any way.

    If the people who lost their child are the types who wouldn't ridicule somebody in that situation--then the people making fun of them are worse.

    Like I said, the people on the left are just as bad as the identity Republicans were during the worst abuses of the Bush Administration.

    The Bush Administration's cheerleaders piled on and dehumanized anti-war types, and these people on the left are just as bad or worse in the hate they direct at Tea Party types.

    It's the same thing. They're just as bad as the worst of Bush cheerleaders. ...except they were supposed to know better. They don't.

    In my book, that makes them worse.

  • ||

    Hey, Smokey! We, at Wonkette, give you the hearty Rat's Ass, in expression of concern over your opinion.

  • ||

    The comments are funny

    Actually, no they are not.
    They're ramblings of ignorant, arrested development adolescents.

  • shrike||

    It's only hate speech when the right does it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oddly enough, your side encouraged "rednecks" to support Obama:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....for-obama/

  • ||

    Hey Brian Doherty!

    "Baby Snatching: It's Hilarious When We Just Don't Like Their Kind"

    You should put a photo up there reminding people what a "hilarious" baby snatching can look like. I suggest this image...

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/36/Inselian.jpg

    Isn't that "hilarious"?!

    P.S. The answer is "no". There isn't anything funny about it at all.

  • B.P.||

    This post scores about a 3 on the clarity scale... I suppose I should go and read the source material.

  • Tman||

    You want to read Wonkette on purpose?

    Listening to a fifth grade orchestra of disinterested and untalented musicians perform a version of Beethovens fifth would be more enjoyable.

  • johnl||

    Actually that sounds pretty cool.

  • ||

    The sad (and funny!) thing is that "outsiders" judge libertarianism from the commentary here. So it works both ways. The truth might not be in the middle, but one camp doesn't have a monopoly on it.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm sure they occasionally read the articles, too. At least I hope so.

  • ||

    Pathetic. Maybe it's time that our political junkies stop and smell the roses. And maybe stop trying to dehumanize the opposition.

  • ||

    Well, there goes their entire epistomology.

  • ||

    And their ontology.

  • Number 2||

    Hey Pro...that would mean that they would have to argue issues on the merits. They can't let THAT happen!

  • ||

    This is one reason I think we need to just bull ahead with scientific and technological advances, because we'll never get our social, political, or economic house in order on our own. We're too screwed up.

  • ||

    Exactly!

    What the hell has politics ever done for anyone. It's technology people, that is what has increased the standard of living. Personally I think politics are boring- it's stupidity writ large.

    We're in a race- technology that allows people to disconnect from the grid- power, food, manufacturing, etc. against politicians and their sycophants who use these levers to control. I can't wait for the levers just stop working.

    I just want people to keep the hell away from me and my decisions.

  • Apogee||

    What's even better is that some people are beginning to realize that manipulating those levers is a form of extortion.

    Politics is the business of extortion.

  • ||

    I agree with you. Remarks about "what normal humans understand" (in the second paragraph of this post) and comments like "Meh, I still hope you die in a fire" are dehumanizing in the extreme. Really, they're just indicative of a blind ideology.

    Pathetic indeed.

  • ||

    Substitute black welfare mother, communist party and drug rehabilitation classe as appropriate. What do Wonkette commenters think now?
    Or the team red blogosphere?

    Why is it that only libertarians would be outraged in both cases?

    Yeah, that's right. I'm feeling smugly self-righteous tonight. Wanna make somethin' of it?

  • Eric||

    I actually don't think that most right-wingers would look too kindly on the government doing the same for a welfare mother, et al. For example, they as a group have strongly taken the side of the low-income families who were adversely affected by the taking away of school choice in DC.

  • MNG||

    "I actually don't think that most right-wingers would look too kindly on the government doing the same for a welfare mother"

    Drugs already legalized in your state, huh?

  • JoshINHB||

    No,

    The progressives are fighting it like their lives depend on drug wars.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    +1

  • Apogee||

    ...like their lives depend on drug wars.

    Maybe not their lives, but their livelihoods sure do depend on routing all commerce through their pockets. This goes for team Red as well.

  • JohnD||

    MNG, stfu. A_hole

  • ||

    Can't make something out of zero.

  • ||

    Honestly, I'm not sure that conservatives *would* be pro taking welfare kids away.

    Conservatives are pretty consistently for family values, even for poor black people. Their biggest gripe is that black fathers don't do enough to support their children. None of them actually advocate taking black kids away and putting them in foster homes or giving them to white families. The whole state child care concept is anathema to them.

  • MNG||

    Wow, are you guys really too young to remember when Gingrich proposed that the kids of unwed mothers be put in "group homes" (orphanges)? Iirc it was even in the Contract with America...

  • ||

    having dug this up, i discover that in fact the proposal was not to take people's kids away, but to cut funds for having additional children, and encourage single welfare mothers to put kids up for adoption.

    Big difference.

  • ||

    Wonketteers would still laugh, you smugly self-righteous jack hole, because that's what we DOOOOO!!! Because, crying gets the Cheetoh dust wet.

  • Warty||

    The wonkette headline:

    BREAKING TEABAGGER NEWS: Govmint Stoled Newborn Baby

    These people are not human.

  • ||

    Hey, it's TEAM RED TEAM BLUE. The logical conclusion of extreme partisanship is the dehumanizing of the other team. One of the multitude of reasons that I despise partisans. It is collectivism on a par with racism, tribalism, and religious sectarianism.

    And they actually think they (all of them, any side) are free thinkers, even while subsumed in the collective. It's entertaining when it's the Borg, but in real people, it's repulsive.

  • Warty||

    I misspoke. They're extremely fucking human, which is why I hate our shrieking and shit-throwing species so much.

  • ||

    I prescribe a glass of port and a few episodes of the Venture Bros. Maybe a copy of Private Eye or some italian horror/giallo movie soundtracks.

  • Warty||

    How about civ5 and some gin and tonics?

  • ||

    Sounds good to me. Maybe some prog in the background.

  • Warty||

    Only prog-metal is allowed in my house.

  • ||

    Aren't you an Animals fan though?

    I would've thought that King Crimson's Red album would've right up your alley.

  • Warty||

    Actually, you are correct. I adore most of Pink Floyd and all of King Crimson.

  • ||

    Thank you. Added to my Amazon wish list.

  • skr||

    Only if you play a militant civ with a slash and burn attitude.

  • prolefeed||

    How is Civ 5, anyway? Much different than Civ 4? I'm a Civ junkie, but don't currently have any computers in the house new enough to meet the minimum system specs.

  • Warty||

    More fun than Civ 4, I think. From what I remember from my undergrad days, it's as great as Civ 3 was back then.

  • ||

    How is Civ5? Haven't tried that yet.
    SC2 and a bottle of Sutter Homes normally occupy my weekends.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Venture Bros gets better and better. Though I recommend a six-pack of Rogue Dead Guy Ale as an accompanying libation.

  • RT||

    CIV 5 is added to the list of games I won't buy. I've bought every one of them faithfully, but I will NOT sign up for a online service just to play the game. Every copy I see on the shelf gets stuck behind a copy of "Billy Bob's Bass Fishing 2005".

  • ||

    They're extremely fucking human, which is why I hate our shrieking and shit-throwing species so much.

    So should I be flattered by your comment the other day that you don't consider me human?

  • Warty||

    If I saw you on the street, I would immediately fling my own excrement at you.

  • ||

    Good to know you have it available at all times, Mr Poopypants.

  • Nice.||

    Even though I hate you both with fairly the same amount of repulsion, got to give you a plus there you anal retentive bastahd.

  • Warty||

    What would anyone hate me for? I'm not the one judging you and scolding you all the time.

  • Nice.||

    I hate you for the perfection of musical taste you exhibit in your links. Strictly a matter of jealousy and envy.

  • ||

    I don't judge you, Warty. It's possible that your flippant, bawdy behavior was caused by a childhood trauma.

  • Wind Rider||

    If scoring with the 60 something year old babysitter as a 12 year old really counts as "trauma" per se.

  • ||

    I would definitely consider that trauma. That would be like having a girl vomit while you were French kissing her.*

    * Thx M Night for that imagery.

  • prolefeed||

    There are some hot 60 year old women. Look around you at some smoking hot 18 year old who is a "10" -- she's gonna be 60 some day, and probably lose some 'tude about her looks.

    Dunno if a 12 year old would be able to recognize such faded flower hotness -- as a 50 y.o., much easier to see.

  • Ted S.||

    Raquel Welch, for one.

  • Tango Mike||

    One time a woman was trying to deep throat me but ended up vomiting all over me. Oops.

  • ||

    Episiarch|10.8.10 @ 8:57PM|#
    "Hey, it's TEAM RED TEAM BLUE. The logical conclusion of extreme partisanship is the dehumanizing of the other team."

    But you do that all the time. You're not a "partisan" too? Or is your particular "team" above reproach?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Epi isn't partisan...he just hates:

    The Warmers,
    The Statists,
    The Collectivists,
    etc...

    all on his own, as an individual. He is dehumanizing individual humans and their attitudes. It is just more efficient to use some label that groups individuals with similar beliefs together than it is to list all of their names.

    ;^)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What's not to hate about that list?

  • Robert||

    Does "Wonkette" mean little wonk or lady wonk?

  • ||

    It means slut, I think.

  • skr||

    it means "I owe way too much on my student loans for a worthless womyns studies degree."

  • DRM||

    Ken Layne is definitely little, not a lady.

  • a||

    Show some respect. That's Matt Welch's BFF you're talking about.

  • prolefeed||

    Some alt definitions of BFF are "Butt Fucking Friend" or "Best Fuck Friend" (for people who string together a bunch of FWB instead of having just one lover), so I studiously avoid insulting someone by using that acronym.

  • Rrabbit||

    Neither. It mean Wankette, misspelled.

  • La Petomane||

    it means someone who takes it in the squeakhole.

  • JadedD||

    I don't think it means what you think it means...

  • prolefeed||

    This thread has the potential to go to hundreds of comments -- if one of the house liberals has the temerity to actually defend this action.

  • ||

    please, God- let it be true!

    oh, I'm sure some of them will be along shortly. Depends on how many fires they have to put out elsewhere.
    rabid comes to mind...

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    If Oath Keepers were a militia (they're not), would it even be possible for there to be a less threatening militia than one whose objective is to not disarm people, and to not blockade people inside disaster areas, both of which happened during Katrina?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We're talking about modern America, where state "fusion centers" are told to keep an eye on Ron Paul supporters as possible domestic terrorists.

    In other words... we're fucked.

  • Zeb||

    The SPLC called them a militia (or at least mentioned them in a report about militias) so it must be true.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The SPLC also thinks everyone with a Ron Paul bumper-sticker = the next Timothy McVeigh.

    Apparently, so do Wonketteers.

  • prolefeed||

    I stopped reading at this (in the first paragraph -- god those bitches at Wonkette are full of fail, and full of themselves):

    who is a member of “Oath Keepers,” a militia group with a weird Constitution fetish, whose website says, “We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.” The government is taking away this Teabagger spawn because it wants to MURDER the Constitution and and will hurt ANY brave citizen standing up to protect it.

  • DRM||

    Now, now, "bitches" isn't the proper term. Wonkette is no more run by women than Wendy's is.

  • Wind Rider||

    Yeah! When Ana Marie Cox was still running the site, it focused mostly on sophmoric jokes about ass fucking. Much classier.

  • ||

    Well, not only that, but I've generally found female dogs to be agreeable and good-natured. Cats on the other hand...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "weird Constitution fetish" = "anyone who thinks the Tenth Amendment actually MEANS something"

    Courtesy of New Liberal Dictionary Services.

  • JadedD||

    If you didn't read the comments then you are missing out, my friend. Plus, you are not funny.

  • ||

    A shining example of how the 10:10 exploding kids video got made without anyone questioning it.

    And why they were completely shocked when people were disgusted by it.

  • ||

    Oh, obligatory:

    "A 5-0 ate my baby"

  • ||

    The most shocking thing is that people still read Wonkette.

  • prolefeed||

    The most recent version of the Prison Planet account notes that the point mentioning Mr. Irish's membership in Oath Keepers is from a "different document" than the apparent order regarding why New Hampshire's Division for Children, Youth, and Families, casting doubt on the way the story was being framed by everyone from Prison Planet to Wonkette to me--that his alleged membership in Oath Keepers might not have anything to do with the child snatching.

    It appears that Prison Planet is implying that the quote is from the second page of the court document. They do not appear to be saying it is from a completely different and unrelated document. Note that the first document is numbered one through six, and the second is numbered 7.

    Perhaps that vagueness in wording could be cleared up, though, by some, you know, REPORTING by Reason.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Prole---Working on it, but Friday night at 9 p.m. is a hard time to get people from New Hampshire DCYF on the line. Any clarification directly from me will have to wait until Monday morning, most likely. Do note: Prison Planet says "different document," NOT different page; I don't believe them right now. Stewart Rhoades said he did see it. I'll let you know what I find out when I find it out.

  • Brian Doherty||

    "Separate document," not "different document." And I do believe them when they say that; what I mean in saying I don't believe Prison Planet on this is the general way they framed it when I first read this earlier in the day.

    Again, hope to have some clarification/denial/confirmation from New Hampshire authorities by/on Monday morning.

  • ||

    How's the Free State project coming along up there in NH?

  • Brandon||

    It's going swimmingly; can't you tell?

  • ||

    It hasn't started yet. They're still getting pledges.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Everyone in the comments should read the two updates in the original post. It now seems likely that what Wonkette and I both believed, as encouraged by the Daily Tea Party and Prison Planet reporting, was not true: the Oath Keepers membership line was stuck in from a DIFFERENT legal document involving the state's battle with this couple. Though Oath Keepers founder swears he saw the original and it WAS true. I don't know for sure right now. But the general point--about Wonkette and its readers reaction to the story that they and I thought was true--stands.

  • aaron||

    Unless he has a lawsuit against Oath Keepers or something, I don't see why any legal document should mention his membership.

  • jaed||

    Never dealt with Child Protective Services, have you?

  • ||

    Why, have you? Have your chilluns done been taked away?

  • Colin||

    Never found Wonkette funny.

  • Liberal Douchebag||

    Misogynist.

  • ||

    This one smelled bad to me from the beginning, frankly. As bad as various CPS organizations are, to take a newborn from parents is so extreme that I had to believe that CPS must have thought they had some good reason to do it.

    If you read the affidavit, you can see that there is an almost two year old investigation of neglect issues. Now neglect is notoriously subjective (and can be very classist), but it can also be the real deal. It's not like the Oath Keepers membership was "the" reason why. These Oath Keepers may have been highly problematic parents.

    Let me note that my own bar for taking kids from parents is VERY high, so I'm not justifying what was done here, only arguing that the reasons for doing it probably went well beyond dad's Oath Keepers' membership.

    There's plenty of real shit to get angry about out there (like the case in Texas a year or two ago where we were talking more than 100 kids). This one requires some serious "wait n' see" before passing any more judgment.

  • ||

    "Let me note that my own bar for taking kids from parents is VERY high, so I'm not justifying what was done here, only arguing that the reasons for doing it probably went well beyond dad's Oath Keepers' membership."

    I'm sure it was. Nevertheless there still is the question about why such a thing would be listed at all. If there are serious issues involving neglect and possibly violence, that's obviously very important but why bring up the "Oath Keepers" at all?

    So I guess the context in which it appears is pretty crucial on the outrage scale. Even if this kid really needed be taken for her own protection, citing membership in the "Oath Keepers" as only one of many reasons could still be troubling. Should make no difference at all.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Voros---While I agree, it now seems quite likely that Oath Keepers was NOT mentioned in the actual document from the state listing their reasons for the baby-taking. Again, I will try to get New Hampshire DYCF to answer questions about this Monday morning when their offices are open.

    That all said, the reason for the post was, as it is framed above, to point at the bizarre culture war aspects of how Wonkette and its readers chose to take the story.

  • ||

    Well what document is it from?

    Is it a real document? If so what was its purpose?

  • Brian Doherty||

    Given the fishy way PP chose to first present it, I hesitate to guess. Looks like it MIGHT be from some other document from DYCF concerning their obviously long-standing issues with the parents. Even PP is now admitting it is from a "separate" document. Again, I hope I can get accurate info on this from NW DYCF on Monday.

  • ||

    Fair enough. I guess we'll see.

  • Wind Rider||

    The point about gratuitous class slagging is spot on - I think the oddest part of the whole thing is that anyone took anything off Alex Jones' PP site and ran with it without extensive background verification. Alex kind of has a habit of playing with matches while he puts gas in the car. . .

  • Brian Doherty||

    Voros---See way down below the chain a comment from Oahtkeepers head Stewart Rhodes trying to clarify the distinction between the two documents PP presented, which seems to make the case that Oathkeeper membership definitely was among the official reasons. Since Rhodes saw something I have yet to see, I just point to him here. I of course noted he claimed this in update II, though he seems rather miffed and to have missed that part.

  • ||

    Nanny State: Take a stand against us and we'll take your fucking kids.

  • Daily Tea Party||

    Brian, great article and great writing. We at the Daily Tea Party do take these government accusations with a grain of salt. We have in the past heard plenty of first hand stories of abuses and exaggerations from these agencies. So we have to admit that our article was and is very pro parent. Thank you for your well thought out opinion. We have updated the article to show the new developments.

    the DailyTeaParty.com

  • Jack Stuef||

    Hello Reason! I was mocking the Tea Party activists for foaming at the mouth with their assumption that the government had taken this baby because the father was a member of the militia group, which was obviously incorrect. And yes, I'm sorry, it's a little silly to join a "militia" because you think you will need to take up arms to defend the Constitution from the federal government. I don't think I was "misled" by these Tea Party sites. It's pretty clear from even the first page of that affidavit that underlying child welfare problems were the reason for the government action, and it's pretty clear, from my allusions in the second half of the post, that I understand that. Sure, that part of the information does not "effect" the reactions of our commenters. But I think it's obvious, if you actually read my post, that they were reacting to the Daily Tea Party saying these parents were somehow more American because of what interests they listed on their Facebook page. There's your culture war.

  • Go Fuck Yourself Too||

    Meh, I still hope you die in a fire.

    Your commenters too.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Do you know anything about the "Oath Keepers"? They are hardly a "militia".

    Are you aware of the well documented facts of police disarming people in New Orleans during Katrina? And stopping them from crossing a bridge out of town? And shooting them dead?

    That's the kind of stuff the "Oafers" object to. Does that sound so bad? Or does the brain shut down at the first mention of guns and the constitution?

  • ||

    But to the Wonkette commenters, they're below us. They're bad people. Who gives a shit about the truth, they have wrong political beliefs, and, goddammit, that's enough!

    I should not have clicked through to Wonkette. Wanted to throw my laptop against the wall after reading that site.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's liberal elitism for ya, Andrew.

  • Hoyt E. Toiti||

    Oh, no no no no no no no no. You misunderstand. We certainly don't believe that they are below you.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You misunderstand: I, personally, hate ALL elitists, left or right.

    Sorry I didn't make that clearer for you, Hoyt. Make a note of it.

  • ||

    Really? I'd love to see some evidence that any "Oafers" (thanks for that!) actually criticized the shooters who killed those people on the bridge in LA.

  • ||

    Oathkeepers and tea partiers should be able to beat and neglect their kids if they want to. How dare the Wonkette commenters criticize patriotic parents for disciplining their children in any way they see fit. Those other two kids probably just screamed too loud when they were being hit and these patriotic parents were turned in by some bleeding heart marxist, socialist communist. Note to patriots: try gagging your kids before you beat them.That way your immoral librul un- american neighbors wont turn you in.

  • ||

    And yes, I'm sorry, it's a little silly to join a "militia" because you think you will need to take up arms to defend the Constitution from the federal government.

    By that standard, the authors of the Bill of Rights were quite silly.

  • mch||

    Not to mention significant numbers of Native American tribes.

  • JoshINHB||

    Or black folk that couldn't own guns or form militia's in the Jim Crow south.

  • hmm||

    Jack, lets go over some of the links in your article and your article, shall we.

    First link in your article, 2nd sentence of the linked page.

    We remain in outrage that being a member of a political organization would play any role or be mentioned in an affidavit related to such a specific matter.


    Your statement,"I was mocking the Tea Party activists for foaming at the mouth with their assumption that the government had taken this baby because the father was a member of the militia group, which was obviously incorrect."

    Are you a fucking moron or incapable of basic reading comprehension? The author of the article appears to be upset about the mentioning of Oath Keepers and that it even played a small role in the government's actions. The author of the article clearly states in its first sentence that there were other reasons, something that maybe you could try out in your writing. You know, setting the scene in an honest fashion.

    "And yes, I'm sorry, it's a little silly to join a "militia" because you think you will need to take up arms to defend the Constitution from the federal government."
    Silly by your standards. You seem to think it's okay to persecute those that don't think it's silly, which to me seems sillyextremely hypocrytical. I guess you are just that much better than those people, right?

    "I don't think I was "misled" by these Tea Party sites."
    And I don't think you can fuckin' read or critically think. And I have at least an entire article of pretty good proof of this.

    "It's pretty clear from even the first page of that affidavit that underlying child welfare problems were the reason for the government action, and it's pretty clear, from my allusions in the second half of the post, that I understand that."

    Yet you spend the first half ridiculing and drawing conclusions that are at best just poor reasoning and at worst blatant bullshit. Nice work.

    "Sure, that part of the information does not "effect" the reactions of our commenters"

    Your commentors share your aforementioned afflictions at what appears to be a greater magnitude than you. Which, all things considered, is pretty amazing.

    First link in your article, 3rd paragraph of the linked page.

    His facebook page shows that he has an interest in the Constitution, the second amendment, the bill of rights, martial arts, guns, the Dukes of Hazard, and the bible. All thoroughly American interests.

    "But I think it's obvious, if you actually read my post, that they were reacting to the Daily Tea Party saying these parents were somehow more American because of what interests they listed on their Facebook page."/

    Where exactly is the "more" coming from with regards to the tea party article? I see a statement saying the listed things are "thoroughly American." No where do I see a judgment call or comparison that anyone with an ability to dress to dress themself could attribute you're "more American" statement too.

    "There's your culture war."
    Indeed, there it is. Either you are a complete fucking moron incapable of reading at a basic high school level, or you are misrepresenting others words for the sake of some retard us versus them bullshit. There doesn't seem to be any other way to read the discrepancies between your article and the one you are commenting on.

    I foresee a lot of mocking of liberal hacks, more specifically you, for foaming at the mouth over things that don't exist. Congratulations, you are what you mock.

    (You forced me to fisk, for that you deserve a death by snu snu.)

  • ||

    Death by snu snu is reserved for only the enlightened.

  • Wind Rider||

    Nah. Death, sure, but Bolo is better in this case.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Riveting. I can just feel the condescension in your words, you hack.

    You have fun with the other d-baggers at Wonkette.

  • ||

    And yes, I'm sorry, it's a little silly to join a "militia" because you think you will need to take up arms to defend the Constitution from the federal government.

    After slumming through yours and your enlightened commenters posts, I'm not so sure any more if it's the gummint we should be worried about and taking up arms in defense against.

    You might want to consider putting some of that abundant and weasily smug away in storage for the lean times. The republicans are (unfortunately) coming and you never know when you'll run low.

  • ||

    ARTICLE 1 SEC 8: "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions"

    It's naturally assumed that we're supposed to have a militia, you fucking idiot. Perhaps you should try to read the document set forth as the supreme law of this country before bashing anyone. Shit, you might actually understand why people fight and die for it then.
    YOU. STUPID. FUCKING. PIECE. OF. SHIT.

  • ||

    Not to mention the whole "well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" business.

  • ||

    No, no, they want to have it both ways.

    "You have to belong to a militia to bear arms. It says so right there!"

    "What? You belong to a militia? What kind of dangerous whackjob are you?"

    Sadly, it's perfectly consistent with the progressive ideology.

  • ||

    Yes. Obviously what needed to happen was a half-assed coordinated DHS/BATF/NSA/FBI/DOD night-raid. No-knock style, preferably taking out any pets, tazering the infants and killing the parents. I mean, they might have one of those icky 'guns' they've heard can kill people.

    That's the liberal-statist wet dream right there.

  • ||

    tazering = tazing. fuck its late.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's some Balko-worthy material right there. Plus, it would be good fodder for That Fuckstain Olbermann, but for different reasons.

  • ||

    But let's not let that get in the way of robbing political opponents of their kids.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You should probably toddle on back to your echo chamber. You're in way over your head here and there are no lifeguards.

  • Hoyt E. Toiti||

    It's true, Jack. You're waaay low on Hit Points and you haven't a charmed weapon to your name.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Hey statist fluffer,

    I commented on your article shortly after you posted it showing my shock at how incredibly vitriolic, bigoted and sick you leftist were when you dehumanized those you disagree with politically. I didn't use ANY form of profanity, and was quite civil in showing my disgust. And yet, you wouldn't post it. So do leftist also believe in censorship when their behavior and ideas are being challenged? Because you guys keep telling me how "open minded" you are and how it is the right that act like "fascists", while the left are the angelic ones who are open minded and "tolerant". Anyway, I will remember this the next time you claim that you are being oppressed.

    Suck my proverbial libertarian balls,

    Banjos

  • AnonymousRex||

    Comments over there aren't moderated.

  • Rock Action ||

    Wonkette journalizing: still somewhere earnestly covering the youth vote and interwebs for MTV News, wearing black Chucks and bad leggings, looking stupidly nineties in the aughts, giving fluff interviews and editorializing, exhibiting a typically bereft undergraduate intellect.

    Wonkette debating: I disagree, therefore my laughter will suffice as a rebuttal of your absolutely ridiculous position.

    Wonkette marrying: the best (and only) reason for her career, other than her blog's closeness with Andrew Sullivan.

    Wonkette deciding what passes as content: a fascination with hookers, gossip, and the DC connected, all of whom just love gossip about themselves until they don't, whereupon they kill themselves.

    Wonkette's audience: mean-spirited, petty little shits who check in for some private and personal dirt.

    She's always been a condescending little coattail rider, always will be. She's utterly unworth anyone's time or energy.

  • DRM||

    Ana Marie Cox hasn't been with Wonkette since January 2006. It's Ken Layne's site now.

  • Rock Action ||

    Thanks for the info. My bad.

    Guess that complete error means I really don't care, nor would I waste a minute at Wonkette, nor would I consider it relevant. From the looks of it, she left it in hands she must have found both similar and capable.

  • DoktorZoom||

    To be fair, you forgot to mention assfucking. That is a central tenet of the site.

  • Jack Stuef||

    And personally, I happen to agree that child protective services agencies can be overzealous in going after parents, which is certainly a violation of civil rights. But it's clear from the first page of that affidavit that the agency was "very familiar" with these parents and there was obviously a history of abuse or neglect or other child welfare issues with this family.

  • ||

    Actually, that's not clear at all. That's just what you're more than willing to assume. And even if there had been a history of abuse or neglect in the family, I've never heard of that being used as justification for confiscating a newborn baby.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Well Jack, the important thing is that you made your point that only the "teabaggers" are angry, ignorant people with an axe to grind. No angry stupid crazy on the left, no indeed. Your post and the comments from your readers certainly prove that.

  • Hoyt E. Toiti||

    "Well Jack, the important thing is that you made your point that only the 'teabaggers' are angry, ignorant people with an axe to grind."

    Now that's what I can an example of a clear statement without projective inference!

  • hmm||

    Jesus. You really do know how to keep digging don't you. Someone needs to adjoin your helmet and drool bib rule with a no shovel rule.

  • McMartin||

    CPS was very familiar with our day-care center too. Would it have been "clear" to you back then?

    The worst is that CPS is completely immune from punishment for misconduct.

  • zero points||

    If you really believed CPS agencies can be overzealous, you would have tempered your remarks and taken a wait-and-see approach instead of jumping to conclusions just to be able to have a cute headline smearing people who you don't like who had nothing to do with the case.

  • hmm||

    Dude, it's not about class war or us v. them.

    How many times does he have to say it to make it true?

  • ten points||

    yeah, I guess you're right. He could repeat it a few more times, though, just to keep trying to convince us -- or them.

  • JadedD||

    I see a case of Dementia in your future.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Jack, if this had been about a baby taken from parents who belong to a left-wing analogue of the Oath Keepers*... what would you and others be saying about it on Wonkette?

    *I realize there likely is no direct analogue, but just for the sake of argument, let's say it would be something like the Earth Liberation Front.

  • ||

    the agency was "very familiar" with these parents and there was obviously a history of abuse or neglect or other child welfare issues with this family.

    Hysterical.

    Actually, no such thing is or was "clear" you lying imbecile.

  • JadedD||

    Hey VaJayJay! Poppyhead.

  • ¢man||

    Hello Reason! ...

    Yeah, y'know, there are probably enough asshole halfwits with jizz-joke names here already.

  • Nice.||

    The American Left. The irrational collective that believes your right to suck a dick is more fundamental than your right to defend yourself, hell the later doesn't even exist in the minds of most of them not to mention all of the ones that have been nominated to the Supreme Court. Of course, both rights are necessary for a proper pursuit of happiness, but on a Maslovian hierarchy of needs, one is a bit more important than the other.

  • hmm||

    One should not discount the value of a good blow job with respect to morale.

  • ||

    I was talking to a lefty the other day who was completely comfortable saying that you should be completely free to do whatever you want -- have any kind of sex, take any kind of drug, say any swear word you want -- but once you make any money or (God forbid!) employ someone, you become the government's bitch.

    I'm not surmising this attitude -- I asked him explicitly whether that was what he believed and he said yes.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You were talking to Tony?

    [drum roll]

    Thanks a lot, folks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

    Next up: the comedic stylings of Carrot Top!

  • mgd||

  • Steve Smith||

    STEVE SMITH WANT RIMJOB!

    OH, WAIT... YOU NOT SAY THAT. STEVE SMITH BAD.

  • alan||

    Where did we get this collection of scum villainy? VietCong make for better neighbors than most American lefties.

  • shrike||

    That's hate speech, alan.

    Oh, and you're obviously a Christ-fag rightwinger.

  • Max||

    Yeah! They all suck Ron Pual's cock! Which is why I'm promising, yet again, to never come back to this websight!

  • Hoyt E. Toiti||

    It all happened when you went into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

  • Beezard||

    Well, I really hope these people are child pornographers or only make babies to feed their pet alligators...because I can't think of too many other reasons for this to happen.

  • Beezard||

    if the Oath Keepers thing was an actual reason then...Jeebus...we should probably blow something up or something...I mean...Jeeebus..

  • Xenocles||

    That does seem to be the only way to get any respect in the West these days. If you have the wrong beliefs, you can peacefully demonstrate, be courteous, and even get beaten up and the mainstream will still think you're violent fringe wackos. Kill a few people, however, and people will censor themselves out of fear of offending you. It's a crazy world we live in.
    The temptation to act evilly is growing, which is what one ought to expect when we reward evil behavior.

  • Beezard||

    McVeigh put us back 20 years, so obviously I'm not serious...but every once in awhile something comes along (and this definitely isn't it if the Oath Keepers connection wasn't on the original affidavit) that emotionally makes you go "hmmm...maybe we should blow something up."

  • Ed Schultz||

    EVERY rightie is a McVeigh wanna-be! PLEASE watch The Ed Show on MSNBC! I'm dyin' over here!

  • Xenocles||

    No, I get it. I was making a point about the state of the world and over-emphasizing that I don't endorse that sort of behavior. I totally understand the emotional urge to do it, though.

  • SPLC||

    If tea-baggers and the Oath Keepers didn't exist, we'd be out of work in the making-up-shit business.

  • Ryanxxx||

    What was tragic about the McVeigh OKC bombing (other than the obvious human toll) was that he did such a despicable thing for such good reasons. Reading his statements and manifestos I couldn't find a single thing I disagreed with

  • ||

    So is child pornography and murder the only instances in which CPS should step in to protect the children? I want an answer because honestly I am confused as to why so many people are defending someone who has already had 2 children removed from the home due to violence and this guy seems to beat the wife and kids. Do you think that kids shouldn't have protection from domestic violence?

  • D. Coffman||

    There is far too many unknowns in this case to make any kind of informed opinion one way or another.

    I get the feeling we're going to see another Terry Schiavo style ordeal to take the edge off the upcoming election angst however...

  • Nice.||

    But I think it's obvious, if you actually read my post, that they were reacting to the Daily Tea Party saying these parents were somehow more American because of what interests they listed on their Facebook page. There's your culture war.

    Note Reason editors, any takers to someone covering the left's obsession with being 'Out-Americaned' by the right would be appreciated by at least one reader of questionable geo-political and personal loyalties.

  • Ol' Gringo||

    Am I more, or less American if I can't stomach the New Left; will never attend a Tea Rally; and love Mexican women, Mexican music and Spanish-language telenovelas?

  • hmm||

    and love...Spanish-language telenovelas

    You were rockin' up to here. After that, clearly communist nazi.

  • Warty||

    Dude, las novelas are awesome. Bounce bounce bounce yammering in Spanish bounce bounce bounce.

  • hmm||

    I can't do it. No matter how much "bounce bounce" there is.

  • Apogee||

    Turn the sound off.

  • hmm||

    I think you may be on to something.

  • ||

    It's when you get two Bouncy Bouncy Bouncys get into a screaming slapfest that las novelas reach their true awesomeness. I've seen La Paz shutdown for one of those.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Gigantic Saturday Sabado Gigante and the other variety shows are pretty good, too, particularly when they bring some frumpy pudgy farmer from Nuevo Leon up on stage and have him stand next to the next Sofia Vergara wearing a showgirl costume. Everybody leers and makes inappropriate allusions and its all part of the show.

  • Michael||

    Oh, for fuck's sake. I pop in to check up on anything new that might be posted here (on a Friday night - why, I don't know) and find this. Thanks a lot, reason.

    By the way, let's recap the Oath Keepers' pledge and try to determine which of the following items the emaciated, trust-funded, trend-humping, perpetually-late-to-the-game, undergrad hipster twits at Wonkette have a problem with:

    1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.

    2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people

    3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.

    4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.

    5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.

    6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

    7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

    8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."

    9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.

    10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

    To make it easier for those of you that majored in Ethnic Sexual Justice Studies, simply remove the "NOT" that conveniently appears in capital letters and think about George W. Bushitler while reciting it to yourself.

  • ||

    You don't understand, any excuse to say teabagger 14 times will always be taken by the not-angry, not-vitriolic, reasonable Left.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    The level of stoopid at wonkette is so great, it can only be the case that they think that merely contemplating the oather's scenarios makes you a hopelessly deranged right winger.

    As for myself, I admit this subject gives me some serious cognition-lock: I cannot imagine that anyone could object to this list without being an out and out fascist symp, or a complete fucking idiot on wheels. Reading wonkette's comments was truly depressing.

  • mch||

    Not to be picky but there is a drafting precision problem:

    7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

    That could mean not transporting convicted criminals into a new prison.

    I know what was really meant (eg Japanese-Americans in WWII, etc.) but they could be more careful.

  • Homeland Security||

    Michael, it is obvious you have an unhealthy Constitutional fetish. Report to your nearest re-education center.

    Never mind, we'll pick you up.

  • ||

    WTF?

  • ||

    Sure, its all fun until a liberal gets their eye poked out. One day its the gov't taking militia families' babies, the next they're taking yours, idiots. Its not about the red or the blue, its about the green. The banks OWN this country now, and they have a money printing machine (at your expense) and they will stop at nothing to keep that going, including martial law here in the late fall/early winter. Laugh now when they cart away your christian/conservative neighbor, and cry later when its you.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The banks. Riiightttt....

  • prolefeed||

    Dude, go hang out at LewRockwell.com. It's a better fit for you.

  • sr7||

    Dude, go hang out at LewRockwell.com. It's a better fit for you.

    Blech. Team Red/Team Blue have nothing Team Indigo/Team Vermilion in the douchebaggery department.
    BTW, Frank's rhetoric is straight up Ellen Brown Greenbacker.

  • ||

    Wonkette and its readers prove themselves to be more stupid and angry than the people they claim are dumb and angry.

  • MNG||

    These so-called liberals have obviously forgotten the long history and tradition of liberalism in defending the rights of quite "illiberal" folks (see decades of ACLU cases as evidence). In other words, they've forgotten the best part of liberalism and retained the worst part (the smugness).

  • cynical||

    They're progressives now, not liberals. They don't have to worry about the best or worst parts of anything. And honestly, you can't give yourself a political label that is vague and self-congratulatory like that without being a little smug, can you?

  • MNG||

    Nothing vague and smug about "libertarian," eh?

  • ||

    "Progressive" has a pre-existing meaning, with a positive connotation, that has nothing to do with politics. Hence the name of the insurance company.

    "Libertarian" is a neologism coined by classical liberals who wanted to distinguish themselves from the socialists who pilfered the name "liberal" in the early 20th century.

    Don't worry, MNG, there are another 50,000 or so English words you and your buddies can appropriate to describe yourselves and then discard after you've dragged them through the mud and turned them into curses with your behavior.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Small correction: libertarian was originally a theological term.

  • MNG||

    Tulpa

    Since "socialist" means "anyone who doesn't fit into libertarian orthodoxy" for folks like you that's pretty meaningless and vague. Claiming "progress" in your moniker is no more vague and self-congratulatory than claiming "liberty" in same.

  • Edwin||

    libertarians just got linguistically pwned

    good job mng

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!

  • cynical||

    No, since liberty is a fairly specific concept, even if the particulars are debatable, and not everyone considers it a good thing, particularly if you take the broader view of humanity.

    "Progress", though, has a suggestion of positive change. Now, there would be nothing smug about a name that simply suggested change -- radical, revolutionary, or incrementalist, for example. It's the implication that everyone opposed to the philosophy must oppose making things better (ie, is just an asshole for some reason), that is problematic, particularly since "progressives" typically only consider or favor a small fraction of the possible positive changes one could make.

    Now, this is sort of a problem with conservatism ("conserving" having something of a positive connotation as well), but the connotation is not as positive, and there's only one status quo to protect, so it isn't as vague either.

  • MNG||

    There's a reason the connotation for conservative is not as positive, because for the most part progress has been good in most things, and conservatives of the day fought all that...

  • KPres||

    Vague except that everybody knows "Progressive" = "Communist...but different this time."

  • ||

    I like how MNG keeps referring to the illustrious history and traditions of the progressives, without any connection or factual reference to what TODAY'S progressives are doing.

  • MNG||

    Much of what progressives are doing today is still within the good part of the tradition (and of course much of the tradition is not good).

  • ||

    Yes, so why not point out what those things are instead of an appeal to the past?

    It's like if I were to condemn the Democrats today for the New Deal instead of for TARP or the stimulus.

  • ||

    Oath keepers are not a militia, they simply agree they will follow the constitution in a crisis. Besides militia's are not illegal. And he was not a member just did online discussions.Nothing in the affidavit warrants government child abduction. The fact his free speech with oath keepers is mentioned even as just one reasons his baby was taken is a grave assault on free speech, and serves as a chilling effect. Join the wrong blog and they'll steal your baby. Don't let the likes of Wonkette lure you into false categories, there are only two sides, freedom vs tyranny. And personally I'm more afraid of government thugs than private militia's.

  • Attorney||

    This post scores about a 3 on the clarity scale...

    This.

  • ||

    Sure, its all fun until a liberal gets their eye poked out.

    Then it's hilarious.

  • ||

    Does anyone besides me remember the state of Texas rounding up all of the children of an FLDS* group and placed them in state custody based on the allegations of one lady with an axe to grind? They then returned them after no allegations of physical or sexual abuse were substantiated.

    * No love here for the whackjob polygamists in the FLDS. I've had long discussions about whether a 16 year old girl raised in such an isolated environment can meaningfully consent to marriage. In Texas, the law says they can, no matter their religious upbringing.

    Defending everyone's rights often means defending people/speech/religions you despise. Teams Red and Blue don't seem to get that salient point.

  • Team Red Member||

    Well, I always did wonder about the case of the Campbells, you know, those people who wanted the Nazi-themed birthday cake for their kid? That they were, in fact, neo-Nazis, very unpopular, major oddballs, and ill-educated by all accounts didn't justify the court's decision to take the kids away from them in my opinion. (Some other reasons were mentioned in the linked article; too bad there's a court-imposed gag order and we're therefore not allowed to see those explained more clearly...)

  • Neu Mejican||

    (Some other reasons were mentioned in the linked article; too bad there's a court-imposed gag order and we're therefore not allowed to see those explained more clearly...)

    As I recall, while the press made a big deal about the Nazi connection, the courts did not. They seem to have focused on the violence and neglect.

  • ||

    Most conservatives/libs don't get that point.

    Libs will rail against conservatives for being anti-gay-marriage, claiming its not the government's role to determine what constitutes a marriage. Conservatives will rail about any court decision challenging that premise, and claim the gov't needs to get out of their lives.
    Neither could give two shits about what happens to polygamists.

  • ||

    I'm relieved that this isn't the mildly cute but hateful little bitch that appears on MSNBC occasionally.

    If you look at the picture of this "Steuf" character he looks like someone my friends and I would have stuffed in a dumpster in high school.

  • ||

    Which means what, exactly? That you think that parents should be allowed to abuse children or that they shouldn't be mocked when they do so?

  • ||

    Which means what, exactly?

    I think it means that verofer was one of those kids who got stuffed in a dumpster in high school, and now consoles himself with fantasies he was stuffer rather than stuffee. Cause really, who brags about doing ugly shit like that?

    Break the cycle, verofer!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I refuse to go to the Wonkette site - has anyone there compared these parents to the Westboro fuckheads?

    If so, I'm not surprised; if not, it's just a matter of time.

  • ||

    A similar thing happened in Canada a while ago. You Americans always lag behind us.

  • ||

    A similar thing happened in Canada a while ago. You Americans always lag behind us.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Ken Layne must be proud.

  • ||

    I would be interested (but not so deeply as to actually subject myself to Wonkette or her/its commentariat) to know how many progressive crypto-eugenicists have claimed that people such as these rat-bagging teafuckers should not actually be permitted to procreate.

  • Apogee||

    I'm sure Max can talk to some of his friends and find out for you.

  • ||

    I will get my libertarian decoder ring "kidnapped" ...but

    "The affidavit about the snatch lists ongoing charges of child neglect against the mother regarding her other two children, and charges against the father involving weapons possession without a license, as among the reasons for the kidnapping."

    Now, does 'neglect' mean not feeding them, or failing to sign the permission slip to view 'an inconvenient truth' - cause if your not feeding your kids, I'm kind of the opinion that you don't get to keep them.

  • ||

    neglect to DCYS can mean whatever they want it to mean.

    in some cases it was not giving your kid a cell phone when you can't afford it..or taking a phone/mp3 player away when they abused it.

    pretty much telling your kid "no" is abuse in their book.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Neglect can include not feeding, not letting out of the car seat, not keeping safe from your abusive boy friend, not educating, not providing a safe environment, not cleaning or providing health care.

    In this case it may be the not keeping safe by allowing a violent boyfriend access to the kids kind of neglect.

  • ||

    Way to miss the point NM. Yes, "neglect" can mean those things you mention that everyone agrees are neglectful; however ideologues are often prone to stretch the meanings of words to mean something else if it serves their purposes.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Tulpa...I was responding to Fresno Dan and I did not miss his point. Neglect is well defined for the purposes of this kind of thing. No danger of "neglect" systematically meaning something trivial, despite some danger of over interpretation in individual cases.

    For NH:


    Neglected child means a child:

    * Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his or her physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his or her health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment, and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian, or custodian
    * Whose parents, guardian, or custodian are unable to discharge their responsibilities to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization, or other physical or mental incapacity
  • Ted S.||

    You don't think

    or other care or control necessary for his or her [...] emotional health

    can be misused?

  • ||

    Ted, the CPS employees are so overburdened with cases where children are at risk of being killed -- starved, beaten to death -- that they really don't have time to execute on your paranoid fantasy. Maybe next time.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Neu, it can be as nitpicky as "a sink full of unwashed dishes", which is what my ex and I went through when someone got pissed off at us and called in a bogus DFS complaint.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Mr. Fify,
    A complaint can be made for anything. But the requirement to establish serious harm means that your sink full of dishes is not gonna lead to forced relinquishment of parental rights.

    Ted S.,
    Anything can be misused. I have already said that it happens. It just doesn't happen systematically. Experience with the CPS system in 3 states for the 20 years or so tells me that it is far more likely a child will be left in a dangerous situation than be taken for trivial reasons. The bias to give parents the benefit of the doubt is built pretty firmly into the system. AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.

  • ||

    I dunno.. some of the things that pass for 'abuse' by the courts these days are fucking silly. Plus, it always seems like they take the stand that if the wife denies any violence or abuse took place, she must be 'traumatized'

  • ||

    You seem to have had some experience in this area. Pray tell?

  • ||

    sad thing is that the anti-oathkeepers fail to understand that the shoe can be on the other foot quickly.

    get your kids taken partly because you are an oathkeeper today, tomorrow, the reason become code pink membership.

    they're so busy booing the other side they don't see that the sharks don't care who they bite.

  • Marjorie||

    I don't see what y'all are missing.

    Yes, there was some culture war mocking, but the heart of the Wonkette piece was that this guy obviously had some violence issues (the real reason the baby was taken is because he wasn't taken a court-ordered anger management course--also, he was someone the parents were 'well-acquainted' with). The whole situation SCREAMS 'domestic violence.' Basically, some people making a martyr out of a wife-beater because they like some of his political ideas.

    And yes, wife-beaters are some of 'those people'--I just don't like their kind. I don't believe they should be responsible for children, and people for whom I have little sympathy.

    Unfortunately, the government is normally NOT too aggressive in taking away children. On the converse: children are frequently killed by their parents because civil servants were hesitant to intervene.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed. It cuts both ways in my experience.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, the government is normally NOT too aggressive in taking away children. On the converse: children are frequently killed by their parents because civil servants were hesitant to intervene.

    I'd appreciate links to back that conclusion up.

  • ||

    You are kidding, right?

    Perhaps you are not from this planet.

    google is you friend for starters

  • Neu Mejican||

    Last time I saw CDC numbers child abuse lead to something like 5 child deaths a day in the US. It is one of those numbers you can just find yourself.

    Working with disrupted families I can tell you that it is not easy to take someone's child away from them. The bar is very high (rightly so) and cases are reviewed exhaustively. I have seen more cases where children were left in dangerous situations than cases of overzealous prosecution of parents (although both happen).

  • ||

    My sister was taken away.
    I'm fine. She's a traumatized mess.

    IMO, unless the abuse is life-threatening, the kid is better off staying with his parents. It's not as if the foster care system is a model of idealized childrearing. My sister ended up being abused mom worse by her foster parents than she was by my mom. (Mom was mostly just an emptionally unstable wierdo...)

  • ||

    I see. Your anecdotal evidence, which doesn't include the death of an endangered child by his or her own parents, somehow negates what the previous commenter said.

    I'd say be glad none of you are dead and be a little bit more careful and thoughtful in your comments.

    But that's just me.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Wow Michelle, you are one condescending cunt. You sound like the type who has sand permanently lodged in her vagina.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Maybe Michelle would prefer all children be taken away, and raised by the state?

  • ||

    Banjos...it is interesting how you cut straight to the heart of the matter. Michelle! Yer a woman!

  • ||

    How far are you willing to let the State go to ensure not one child is ever harmed by their parents?

  • ||

    Nobody in my family was endangered in a life-threatening way.

  • Neu Mejican||

    IMO, unless the abuse is life-threatening, the kid is better off staying with his parents.

    I am not sure "life-threatening" is the bar, but the system already works with the assumption that disrupting the family is very harmful, so there has to be a really good reason to do it.

    It's not as if the foster care system is a model of idealized childrearing.

    True enough, but a good foster home (or any stable, nurturing environment) has been shown to be one of the best interventions for kids to help them recover from trauma and abuse. It is why it is important to have a system that is well funded enough that foster placements can be monitored. Unfortunately, they are typically the first program to take a hit when budgets get tight. Potholes somehow take precedent over child protection in our society.

    My sister ended up being abused mom worse by her foster parents than she was by my mom. (Mom was mostly just an emptionally unstable wierdo...

    Sorry to hear that. She should never have faced that situation.

    Some numbers on child murder:
    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/program......htm#child

    Perpetrator Relationship

    Approximately 80 percent (80.1%) of perpetrators were parents. Other relatives accounted for an additional 6.5 percent. Unmarried partners of parents accounted for 4.4 percent (figure 5–2). Of the parents who were perpetrators, more than 90 percent (90.9%) were biological parents, 4.4 percent were stepparents, and 0.7 percent were adoptive parents...

    Children whose families had received family preservation services in the past 5 years accounted for 13.1 percent of child fatalities. Nearly 2 percent (1.9%) of the child fatalities had been in foster care and were reunited with their families in the past 5 years.
  • ||

    Ya know, that's a bit like pointing out that 90% of all orgasms are caused by masturbation.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed, but the main stat I noticed was the very low number of cases among adoptive parents. As a significant portion of those are foster parents first, it speaks to how likely foster parents are to be worse than the home from which the child was taken.

  • ||

    Statistically speaking it is probable that a foster home is going to be less abusive - just because if you take kids out of a known high-probable abuse situation and place them at random in the general population, their likelihood of abuse will go down. But we don't (or shouldn't) yank kids away from parents just because it reduces the chance of abuse.

    There are all sorts of positive factors to keeping a family together which offset the possibility of some kind of abuse or neglect. Removing a kid from a possibly neglectful or mildly abusive parent not only doesn't mean the child's future home is going to free of all forms of abuse, it also means the child will have to deal with the trauma of being separated from loved ones and being raised by strangers that he/she does not have a natural bond with.

    By my sister's report, she was placed with a family with several naturalc children, who treated her like a servant. Then she was moved twice, to two different homes, the last one being one that would lock her in her room at night.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hazel,

    I agree. Like I said above...the bar for removal is very high, and should remain very high. The system (for the most part) recognizes the removal/disruption of the family as a significant harm that should be avoided unless there are significant risks to the child without the disruption. The system is currently correctly biased towards keeping families together. This doesn't mean errors will not occur. Of course, this is a state by state problem with each state having different rules, different competence and such. In some states kids in foster care are at very high risk from abuse by the system itself. In most, the risk is greater that the system will ignore significant risk and leave children in harms way unnecessarily (perhaps due to underfunding/staffing etc.).

  • ||

    Assuming that's correct, 5 child deaths a day includes deaths from car crashes and other unforeseeable events, from chronic disease, and other things that that cannot be prevented by CPS involvement. It also includes the children who are killed while in foster care. Your "five deaths a day" does not make the case for CPS not removing children often enough.

  • ||

    Yes, there was some culture war mocking, but the heart of the Wonkette piece was that this guy obviously had some violence issues

    Actually, the heart of the piece was that this guy was a TEABAGGER

  • Apogee||

    ^^This.

    It's all about political control. The left doesn't give a shit about kids, unless they care enough to blow them up.

  • ||

    Right on brother.

    A little collateral damage never hurt anyone we care about.

  • Apogee||

    What do you mean 'we', asshole?

    I was talking about the 10:10 video, where the left planned and approved of the scenes of kids exploding in order to gain political points.

    Even McVeigh, that scumbag loser, knew that blowing up a day-care center was fucked up. "It might have given me pause to switch targets. That's a large amount of collateral damage."

    So, apparently the left's thinking is even more fucked up than that of Timothy McVeigh, because the left planned on images of dead kids.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • DoktorZoom||

    I couldn't agree more. A video with cheesy special-effects depictions of exploding people is exactly the same as the OKC bombing. Fiction, reality, it's all equal.

  • Apogee||

    Fiction and reality were all equal in McVeigh's head, and his fiction of striking a blow against the FBI as punishment for the Waco raid produced the reality of dead toddlers as well as dead FBI agents.

    McVeigh didn't accidentally park a truck full of ammonium nitrate outside that building. He constructed a fictional mental image of the FBI and government as inhuman enemies to be destroyed - so much so that kids in a day care center became 'collateral damage'.

    Blowing up your enemies for the progress of the cause, and the survival of the 'good'. The thought was necessary for the action.

    Sound familiar?

    What is it about the similarities of those thoughts that makes you so nervous?

  • ||

    the left planned and approved of the scenes of kids exploding

    Apogee's right. I was at the meeting where we approved it. There were cookies.

  • ||

    children are frequently killed by their parents because civil servants were hesitant to intervene.

    What an idiotic assertion.

    And no, your links referencing the same few incidents do not back up your dipshit comment.

  • ||

    Yep. Kids are killed by their parents because they had fucked up parents, NOT because the Feds were supposed to step in and didn't.

  • ||

    NOT feds. Feds don't do this. This is State or County. Idiot.

  • ||

    I saw two points.

    1. It's ridiculous for someone to think they are being persecuted, just because the child abuse affidavit mentions their political activities.

    2. Tea baggers are, like, ya know, SO RETARDED.

  • Mazel Heade||

    Two points for you:

    1. You have no excuse for laughing along with sick fucks like those assholes at Wonkette, whatever the situation

    2. If I were as big of a cocksucking statist shit-eating wangbasket as you, I wouldn't go attacking the intelligence of ordinary American people who are obviously morally and intellectually far superior to you, you braindead bitchdyke.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Apparently, Hazel's obvious satire sailed right over YOUR head...

  • ||

    I liked how you combined "morally and intellectually far superior" with "cocksucking statist shit-eating wangbasket" and "braindead bitchdyke."

    Also, nice self-pwn.

  • ||

    uh.... defending a child abuser doesn't make you morally superior.

  • ||

    The wife denied any abuse took place. She's obviously in denial and lying, right? Like some sort of Stockholm syndrome or something?

  • Marjorie||

    Have you ever worked with abused women? I have seen women with half their teeth knocked out refuse to prosecute.

    I am not sure what is going on here. NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU. The decision to remove this child was made by people who have actually spent time with these people.

    We can just assume that they are evil. That's fun to do. Or we can make a logical assumption that most people who work in DFACS actually do give a shit about kids and don't want to see them harmed.

    Seriously, if you could even SEE some of the situations that child protective services walk into, you may not be so quick to assume that they have evil intentions.

  • 2045||

    don't kid yourselves this is the beginning stages of the pursuit of a new master race of progressives...wonkette is hand that rocks the cradle.

  • Paul A'Barge||

    Here is the donk who wrote the Wonkette article:
    "http://wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/wusa.jpg"

  • Michael||

    So the article was written by the creepy fat son from Hung?

  • ||

    Based on Update III, I'm going to take a big drink of "told you so" and then downgrade my estimate of the average level of rationality in the Tea Party types one step further.

  • ||

    My issue with what happened still hasn't changed.

    I haven't the slightest clue about the specifics with this domestic situation, but guessed that this probably wasn't Ward and June Cleaver we're talking about.

    The problem I had was mentioning membership in a legally functioning organization as one of the justifications for taking the kid (even if it was one of many). That's not right, it shouldn't have been done and now they have to deal with the problems it's going to bring them.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Steve---Why? Maybe there are some people out there---I'm sure you could find one or two--who think the ONLY reason they took the kids was Oathkeepers membership; but the concern of the likes of the Oathkeepers themselves and me and most people out there was that it may (or may not, though the Concord Mon. reporting leans back toward may) have mentioned it in an official accounting of reasons for the babysnatching at all.

  • Brian Doherty||

    ...beyond all the questions of what is a legitimate, in substantive or procedural justice, reason for the stealing of a newborn from parents to begin with--an issue I'm aware is more controversial than "doing so for political reasons" but still something worth being concerned about.

  • ||

    Brian - I agree that listing that membership as ONE reason to take the kid is really problematic. If THAT's all this is about, then fine. But everything I've read from those with the most outrage is that they are indeed suggesting that his membership was at least the straw that broke the camel's back or some similar thing.

    Again, my threshold for CPS is high, but it does seem like this guy was violent and unwilling to change his ways. It's one thing to get upset about making Oath Keepers *one* reason, but it's something else altogether to therefore believe the state had no other evidence here. That's sure the way it sounded to me reading some of the TP blogs/sites.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    The only real story here is Jack Steuf and his douchebag commentariat horde who not only suffer from a serious case of humorlessness (not one thing in the comments section even made me smile, and most of them made me roll my eyes), but also do think that these parents deserved it due to their membership. Steuf can backtrack all he likes, but he wrote what he wrote in the style he wrote it: because he wants to mock "white trash" "teabaggers" --- anything else comes secondary in his childish world.

  • Hoyt E. Toiti||

    "not one thing in the comments section even made me smile"

    Of course not; none championed the mining of the poor and infirm for precious, precious nutrients.

  • ||

    We are witnessing an attack on the Republic today using a classic text book divide and conquer technique used by military strategists for centuries. The progressives are instilling in the minds of the citizens that the wealthy are against the poor, as well as pitting minorities against the majority. This process has been in the works for years and, in my opinion these factions are hell bent on ensuring a renewed effort in creating class warfare amongst all of us to ensure their hold on power.

    Robert A. Gomez, MSgt, USAF

  • ||

    You bonehead. The warfare has been going on for much longer than that. It is the rich, pitting whites against non-whites; straight against gay; Christians against non-Christians. Back in the day, it was Germans against Irish.

    The next time you see some rich Republican talking about "class warfare" because the Democrats want to tax the rich in some closer relationship to the benefit they receive from society, remember this. When you hear, at the same time, that Republican maundering on about how the Democrats are "destroying our families" or "coddling terrorists," remember this. If you can hold a thought that long.

  • ||

    We are witnessing an attack on the Republic today using a classic text book divide and conquer technique used by military strategists for centuries. The progressives are instilling in the minds of the citizens that the wealthy are against the poor, as well as pitting minorities against the majority. This process has been in the works for years and, in my opinion these factions are hell bent on ensuring a renewed effort in creating class warfare amongst all of us to ensure their hold on power.

    Robert A. Gomez, MSgt, USAF

  • ||

    So, you guys are FOR local offices in you neighborhoods to keep an eye out for "terrorist" huh? Having your neighbors spy on you and report you for things they call suspicious? Well, it's already happening. One of the best things you can get are law enforcers etc. that WON'T follow the outright dictatorial ways that they are being pushed into and that is what OathKeepers is, Officials that won't screw people over because their bosses tell them too...... you're against that?

    Liberals used to be against government, now they follow it.... strange.

  • ||

    So, you guys are FOR local offices in you neighborhoods to keep an eye out for "terrorist" huh?

    Yup, we libertarians are famous for supporting things like that, right guys?

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    He/she is not talking to libertarians.

    "Liberals used to be against government, now they follow it.... strange."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's continually amusing that the bunch who used to say "don't trust the establishment" now DEMAND trust in it, because *they* now run it.

    Fucking hypocrites, the left.

  • ||

    You are very defamatory.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9OSzmfXj7g

  • ||

    The fellow who wrote the post - Jack Stuef - he has a picture on Wonkette. Very porcine looking fellow.

    I'm just saying that if I looked like him I don't know that I'd be poking fun at others.

  • ||

    Now if the story was about someone whose child abuse affadavit mentioned his marijuana posession charges and the Bob Marley poster on his wall, I wonder how Wonkette readers would have reacted.

  • Mr. FIFY||

  • Stewart Rhodes||

    Excellent question! I think the answer is obvious. Human nature - the tendency to want to throw the rule book out and unleash the power of the state on those we think bad, is the reason we have a Bill of Rights.

    Stewart Rhodes

  • ||

    We would laugh at stoner dude raising his kids to empty the bong water.

  • ||

    Decent people are against people of any political persuasion beating their kids. Why aren't you?

  • ||

    The reactions here have just confirmed my contempt for libertarians. I hope you enjoy living in a country populated by semi-retarded violent ignoramuses. I'm moving to China, where eugenics will ensure a bright future for the nation.

  • Edwin||

    Wanna carpool?

  • Edwin||

    You're joking, right?

    So because I recognize and lambast you morons for being shrill and retarded about taxes and government, that means I'm for eugenics?

    You know, maybe people would take you more seriously if you weren't a bunch of such fucking shrill douches. You guys are really no better than these people you're mocking on Wonkette - you throw just as much mud for as little reason, and are just as insanely shrill. Difference is, at least their political philosophy doesn't ask me to ignore 5,000 years of human history to try a retarded system that's never been tried before, but elements of it have fialed miserably. They might be stupid, but you guys are fucking retarded.

  • Apogee||

    Difference is, at least their political philosophy doesn't ask me to ignore 5,000 years of human history to try a retarded system that's never been tried before, but elements of it have fialed miserably.

    Apparently ignoring history is more than just a hobby with you.

    No their political philosophy asks you to support a failed system that has been tried, and to ignore the last century's history of economic stagnation, financial collapse and mass murder.

  • Tony||

    I'll pack my bags...

  • Chad||

    But there are even MORE externalities in China!

    On the other hand, they are still nominally a communist state... okay, I'm going, too.

  • shrike||

    No Christ-fags in China!

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!

  • Woodrow||

    Wonkette is like if the 50 stupidest, gayest members of Daily Kos left to start a site. And then lost 50 IQ points each.

  • JadedD||

    ~ Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. ~
    Bruce Lee

  • ||

    it does seem like this guy was violent and unwilling to change his ways.

    OBEY

  • Stewart Rhodes||

    You are mistaken. And so, apparently is Wonkett).

    The order does, in fact, refer to all of the reasons given in the affidavit as being the reasons for the order. While the order does not itself repeat those reasons (orders rarely do), in the order's "findings of fact" it states:

    "Findings of Fact:

    There is reasonable cause to believe that the child is in such circumstances or surroundings as would present an imminent danger to the child's health or life, which require the immediate placement of the child for the following reasons:

    See attached affidavit"

    So the order DOES state, as the reasons for the order to remove the child from parental custody, the list of reasons given in the the affidavit attached to the petition. So it is the affidavit which contains the "reasons."

    Go look at the affidavit. It was filed by Dana Bickford, Child Protective Service Worker, and then attached to the petition to remove the child.

    The affidavit contains the "reasons" given for the need to remove the child from the custody of her parents. Within #7 it is stated that "The Division (of Children, Youth and Families) became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the "Oath Keepers" and had purchased several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and taser."

    So, yes, the reasons given to the court, and the reasons cited by the court (which are all listed in the Affidavit) included his association with Oath Keepers.

    So, both you and Wonkett are mistaken. His association is most certainly among the reasons given by the state and relied on by the judge.

    This is how all such petitions are done. Same for a restraining order. The petition is supported by affidavit laying out the reasons, and then if the judge finds those reasons sufficient, he or she issues the order. Such orders always rely on the affidavit attached to the petition.

    And the order explicitly states that the reasons in support are listed in the attached affidavit. So, yes, the order, by incorporation, does list all the reasons, which include his association with Oath Keepers.

    Again, this is how all such orders are done. Don't you people have any attorneys on staff?

    If you would like to talk to me, you can reach me directly through the contact form on our site. Just click the media box and it will send a message I will then respond to.

    Stewart Rhodes

  • Brian Doherty||

    I do not have a copy of this affidavit to "go look at," alas. I hope Monday that the New Hampshire authorities who issued it will supply me with same. Nor have I found a trustworthy full copy of it on the net; I reported fully in the post's update II that you claim to have seen it and report that indeed Oathkeepers membership was among the stated reasons for the abduction. So, I'm not sure what the issue is here.

  • Stewart Rhodes||

    I realized only after I posted my comment that the "document" posted on Alex Jones' site was not accurate. I contacted his staff and turns out they were trying to use excerpts to focus on the part mentioning Oath Keepers and gun ownership, but in doing so, mixed two different docs - it is not surprising it caused confusion.

    So, I am having the full Petition, Order, and attached Affidavit posted on my site today (with the parents' permission), but with the other personal information (the stuff not pertaining to Oath Keepers or gun ownership) blacked out. I am doing that out of respect for the privacy of the family (including the kids - which is why such proceedings are usually closed to the public). But also because my focus, and why this case is deemed so important to so many people across the country, is on the illegitimate listing of a suspect's political affiliations as a reason to take a child away from her parents. You will be able to see from the order, petition, and affidavit, that the judge adopted the affidavit, in whole, as the Court's "Findings of Fact," and that means all of the affidavit, including the part about association with Oath Keepers and gun ownership.

    That is what takes this case beyond the realm of your mundane family court matter and turns it into something that could affect the rights of us all, nation-wide.

    Such a listing of someone's political associations as one of the reasons to remove a child from her parents should not happen in any case, regardless of whatever else is going on.

    Whether it is a criminal or a civil proceeding, the political affiliations of a suspect are both irrelevant and also prejudicial.

    For example, if I had a criminal defense client accused of beating his wife, what relevance would his NRA membership have to the question of whether he beat his wife? Or if he were a member of the ACLU, or Answer, or ACORN, or Code Pink, etc. What political associations the suspect or defendant has in a child endangerment case is irrelevant to the question of whether he or the mother is guilty.

    And in addition, it would be prejudicial for the finder(s) of fact to hear testimony on such an irrelevant fact as the suspect's political association, especially when such may be with an unpopular group.

    Say, for example, you have a conservative, pro-drug war jury in an assault case and the defendant turns out to be a member of NORML. Would it be OK for the jury to hear evidence of that? Not only would it be inadmissible because irrelevant, but even if some twisted argument as to relevance convinced the judge to find it relevant, it's prejudicial effect would outweigh any such relevance. See Rule 403, Federal Rules of Evidence.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rules.htm

    Yes, in family court, one does not get the same level of due process as in a criminal trial, but that only makes it a more likely system to be abused to target political undesireables. The lower the threshold of due process protection, the more ripe for arbitrary abuse it is.

    And here, the problem is not just possible violation of the due process rights of these particular parents, but also the very real chilling effect this case will have not just on their speech but also on the free speech of potentially millions of other American parents who will, if this is allowed to stand, thereafter have to worry that their political affiliations will be listed among the reasons for taking their children in some future run-in with CPS.

    A law or government practice that targets people for their speech and association, based on the content of their speech, or that MAY be used in such a way, is unconstitutional and harms not just that individual, but also all others who thereafter are "chilled" or dissuaded from engaging in similar speech or associations.

    The chilling works even if it is rarely applied since just the knowledge that it can be done will chill speech and association. All the government needs to do is make an example out of one person, and others will refrain from sticking their necks out.

    If it can be done to someone who is "associated" with Oath Keepers just by posting on an open social networking site (In this case Irish was not even a dues paying member, but merely a forum user on our Ning forum system, which was open to the general public to "join" for free, even on a whim) then it can happen to anyone from any group which particular authorities may look down upon.

    Imagine the same thing being done in a case involving members of PETA, Earth First, or the Anti-War Committee (AWC) which recently had their homes and offices raided by the FBI. Would it be OK for CPS to list those affiliations when investigating potential child abuse or neglect, or would that be both irrelevant, and prejudicial? And would it also chill free speech, making people afraid to join those groups?

    Think back to how the very arbitrary "no-fly list" was used by the Bush Administration to punish critics and political opposition, including journalists. Such power is always subject to abuse. And especially so when the list is secret, and the criteria used to put you on it is secret. Talk about arbitrary power! But even there, it was not openly used to target people because of their political associations. That was the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, we all knew was happening, but even the Bush Admin knew better than to state it publicly. But it still had a chilling effect (as was likely intended), because we all knew what was really going on when some journalist critic of the President just happened to make the list.

    In this case, it is openly acknowledged that the political association of the father is one of the reasons for taking the child (the Court's Order adopted the entire affidavit as its findings of facts). Ditto for his perfectly legal gun ownership. Over half the people in this nation own guns.

    One last point: Too many people are asking "but did he do it." In constitutional law, what counts is not whether the particular defendant was an angel or a "dirtbag" - whether he is innocent or committed the underlying offense at issue. What counts is whether the Constitution is protected.

    For example, Ernesto Miranda was suspected of kidnapping and raping of an 18-year-old girl. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, which ruled his confession inadmissible, his first conviction was overturned. But then the case was retried, leaving out the tainted confession, and Miranda was convicted and served 20 years. A dirtbag? You bet. A filthy rapist. Guilty? Yes, so found by a jury of his peers. He raped the girl and was rightfully convicted and locked up. But it was still wrong to coerce his confession, and his case gave us the procedural protection of our "Miranda" rights, which helps to prevent the well documented practice of the "third degree" (coerced confessions by means of beatings and torture) that had been so common in the U.S. before that decision (read the decision for a detailed history of the kind of well documented abuses that were commonplace).

    The same goes for the case of Jose Padilla, the alleged "Chicago dirty bomber." A dirtbag? Likely. He as both a former gang member and liked to hang out with Al Qaeda types. But that still did not make it OK to black bag him with no due process and throw him in a military brig on secret evidence, without indictment, without a lawyer, without a jury trial, for over two years. That was unconstitutional even if he "did it." (he was later convicted in a jury trial of aiding Al Qaeda). Even though a dirtbag, he still had procedural rights that were violated, and those violations set a dangerous precedent for the rest of us. Now, according to the Fourth Circuit (who's decision still stands as "good law"), that can be done to any of us

    Either you defend the Constitution for everyone, or we may as well just scrap it and let the police and judges do whatever they want to those they deem bad, like in some third world junta.

    Stewart Rhodes

  • JadedD||

    You have no clue about how Family Court works, even if you think you are smrt. If your child is removed by Protective Services (on a state-by-state basis, but nearly universally accepted) the onus is on the parent to prove that he or she is "Fit." Having recently been shown to be "Unfit," as evidenced by a TPR trial ruling against the parents, it is a standard operation to remove future children from a situation that has been judged unsafe. The same thing happens to repeat drug offenders and mothers who still live with sexually abusive men/women. It can get so bad that the state immediately moves to TPR to act in the best interests of the children. In this case, the case worker/Child Protective Lawyer is doing what lawyers do: painting a detailed picture for a judge. In Family Court, nothing is left untouched, evidence is rarely inadmissible, and the defendant is guilty until proven innocent.

  • ||

    Okay, I'm going to back up a second here and point out that the court is terminating the MOTHER's parental rights here, even though it is NOT the mother who accused of abusing them.

    The only reason given for that is that she allows her abusive boyfriend access to them.

    That strikes me as unjust. Why not place a court-ordered restraining order on the abusive boyfriend, with or without the mother's consent?

    Why take the kids away from the mother, who is not accused of abuse?

  • JadedD||

    See my comment above. The Mother has created an "Unsafe" environment for her children by allowing this "Man" to live with her. He has abused these children in the past and is unrepentant (as evidenced by refusing to complete anger management). He is also a convicted felon, and a member of a fringe-group with ties to domestic terrorists and neo-nazis. The world of Family Court is completely different from the Court of Law. The state has a responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children, and in this case, the parents are obviously unfit.

  • ||

    Don't forget the baby daddy's threat to re-enact Columbine his school:

    http://archive.seacoastonline....../47841.htm

    Another non-Oath Keepers reason to keep him far, far away from any newborn...

    He's also refused, so far, to attend a court-ordered anger management seminar.

  • Hysterical Beta Male||

  • ||

    Stewie,
    Since your a legal god can you explain how anything written in an affidavit can be unconstitutional. An affidavit is a statement about a person believes is true; taken under oath. This person believes Irish was an oath keeper and that oath keepers is a militia. They may be wrong but being wrong is not unconstitutional.

    The judge referred to the affidavit to support his ruling, that only means sufficient cause was found in the affidavit not that everything in the affidavit was 100 true OR RELEVANT

  • Stewart Rhodes||

    Something that is not relevant has no place in court. And what is unconstitutional is the targeting of the content of his speech, and his First Amendment right to association, and the chilling effect that will have on others as well.

    You read Reason Magazine and post here. Should that "fact" be listed as evidence that you have committed a crime or that you should have your kid taken from you? Whether someone thinks it "true" or not, it has no place in such a proceeding. What is the relevance? And don't you see the chilling effect that would have on other Reason.com readers, if your "association" with Reason were listed in an affidavit that was then adopted by the Court in its findings of facts? It doesn't have to be the only reason, or the predominant reason, it just has to be one of the reasons given for that use of your association to have a chilling effect on the participation of others on this site.

    You don't have to be a "legal God" to get that. It's con-law 101.

    As for how this will ultimately turn out, it is ertainly true that willful judges can find nearly anything "constitutional" in the face of the plain and very clear text of the Constitution- just go read Gonzales v. Raich, or the 2004 Hamdi decision.
    Heck, I suspect a federal court will likely uphold Obama's claimed power to assassinate American citizens on a secret hit list despite the very clear language that an American accused of being a traitor and making war on his own nation MUST be tried for treason before being killed.

    So, it is possible some judge may agree with your stinted view of the law, but that doesn't make this precedent any less dangerous to free speech and association.

    See my above response to the author for more details.

    Stewart Rhodes

  • ||

    I dint think you know what an affidavit is.
    I thought you were a lawyer.

  • JadedD||

    Yeah, you're seriously misguided.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    fialed miserably

    Heh.

  • ||

    Having grown up in New Hampshire, it's one of the last states I would suspect of deep seated anti-milita prejudice. Maybe things have changed.

  • Brian Doherty||

    All--Post updated with Stewart Rhodes posting of a more complete and contextualized set of court documents. Yes, oathkeepers association membership WAS an officially stated reason for the child taking.

  • Gomer Smith||

    Brian Doherty,
    You'z a monster douche. Word. Out.
    Gomer

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Get fucked, and go back to the Wonkette echo chamber.

  • Tim||

    Well, as long as the children weren't aborted it is Irish's constitutional right to beat them senseless and have weapons on hand in case he really wants to finish them off.

    Thank goodness the government is paying him disability so he can buy rifles, guns, and tasers!

  • ||

    So a douchebag self-described libertarian decides he's going to defend the "salt of the earth" pig-ignorabt fuckwhistle who joins oathkeepers in the hopes that Sarah Palin will flash her tits at her next rally and then spends 46 updates trying to justify why he was hot and bothered to defend an abusive asshole with the evil government "baby snatching" stratagem. I swear, I'm not sure who is more who is more fun to mock, teabagging fumbledicks who attend rallies complaining about big government while motoring around in the medicaid-paid for scooters, or willfully ignorant shitsacks like ol'Doherty who can't wait to watch a man's house burn down in gleeful affirmation of their childish and selfish beliefs.

    Kepp on Doherty, you're kicking ass and being mocked.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    And your boy Jack Stuef is still a whiny, bitchy hack.

    I'm sure there's something of note in all your feigned outrage and willful pedantry, but spare me I don't feel like unweaving your garbage.

    You're a caricature of the left, and don't worry, we don't like you and your Wonkette ilk either.

  • ||

    "You're a caricature of the left"

    For a second there it seemed like you were "getting" the whole "Wonkette" thing but then you continued typing and it seems it's still way over your head.

    The keyword is caricature.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Yes, so is why Stuef himself tried to backtrack in the comments above? Or can he just not take criticism?

    Maybe I just don't get humor....

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Eek, what I meant was:

    If wonkette is humor, why did Stuef try to backtrack in the comments above?

    Don't drink and comment kids...

  • ||

    because wonkette forgets its a humor blog sometimes too and because you're wrong. that and 911.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    ?

    You're wrong too, Mistuh!

  • JadedD||

    It's totally because of 911, also.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "pig-ignorabt"

    Yeah, kepp on posting shit like this, Wonketteers.

  • ||

    I bruise you
    You bruise me
    We both bruise too easily
    Too easily to let it show
    I wuv you, and that's all I know

  • ||

    Taking a irreverent political humor site (also known as a warblog) seriously is the first sign that you probably own a pair of truck nutz.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'd like to mumbo dogface to the banana patch for five hundred, Alex.

  • wat||

    You misspelled irrelevant.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Wonkette's a humor site?

    Sure as shit fooled me. It's like the Onion with twice the bile and half the humor.

  • ||

    There's humor on Wonkette? Where?

  • zoltan||

    It's the unintentional humor of the obliviously pathetic.

  • Jabroni||

    Brian- You really should talk to a lawyer or something about this, your current post is a disaster. I don't think you really understand the affidavit's relationship to the order.

    I know Stewart has made various 19 page long posts about how terrible it would be if the government took away people's children for political membership, but that didn't happen here. An affidavit isn't court, and there's nothing wrong with putting potentially irrelevant or prejudicial allegations in one.

    It's up the judge to weigh those.

    That's before we even get to how the Oath Keepers is clearly distinguishable from ACORN and PETA.

  • ChinatownBus||

    Bitchez be trippin, yo.

  • ||

    Brian,

    Since when is being a member of a violent, armed militia advocating the overthrow of our government not, at the very least, a legitimate consideration in determining whether physical abuse of a child warrants removing the child from the abusive environment?

    Oh, and Truck Nutz.

  • ||

    To start with, because Oathkeepers is not a violent, armed militia advocating the overthrow of our government. But don't let facts get in the way of your argument now!

  • ||

    To start with, because Oathkeepers is not a violent, armed militia advocating the overthrow of our government. But don't let facts get in the way of your argument now!

  • ||

    Blasted server hiccups.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Truck Nutz...?

    Wonkette meme?

  • ||

    To start with, because Oathkeepers is not a violent, armed--OW! OW! STOP HITTING ME, OATHKEEPERS! OW! OW! OW! DON'T TAZE ME, BROS! ZAP! ZAP! OW! OW! OW!

  • ||

    I'm not... er... does anyone want to explain to me what, exactly, this post means? I don't think my IQ is low enough to understand Wonkette commenter humor.

  • zoltan||

    It's like some Tourrette's-affected H&R dreg erractically yelling, "Tow the lion...DONDEROOOOO...lobster girl...STEVE SMITH LIKE RAPE...ARF ARF ARF..."

  • ||

    Sympathizing with unfit parents isn't exactly the high road. People who make kids' lives into an ongoing hell deserve much worse than mockery on a comment thread, parents or not.

    Ah, the Oath Keepers - such noble dissident heros for America in the darkness of last decade, when America's Constitution & even habeas corpus were under direct governmental attack.

  • zoltan||

    The high road being making a mockery of parents who get their children taken away because Daddy Obama's government doesn't like their political membership.

  • AnonymousRex||

    Er, it's the local government that took the kid, not federal. Good God.

  • zoltan||

    Obama's dick is all over New Hampshire local government. It's tough to comprehend, I know, but local governments support federal governments when they're of the same party. Back to Mommy's basement for you.

  • ||

    he was beating the kids. You are defending a child abuser! This is very bizarre to read all of these people defending child abuse. It is as though because he is an oath keeper anything he does is OK. Who the hell cares about his politics. The defenders are seriously creeping me out.

  • stew||

    By Gum! Dope-smokin' libertyans standin' up fer us reggler folk!

  • Jules||

    lol, thanks for "clarifying" this case, Brian, in your inimitable way... by posting 5 sets of updates, overlapping strike-outs and re-edited back-walks, as every fulminating assertion you made turns out to be based on PrisonPlanet reptilian-conspiracy nonsense. what will you do now with your misdirected outrage? Maybe you could form a militia.

    In any case, the resultant typographically incoherent blog-post julienne nicely proves the meta-point of you bein' a big idiot.

    JURNALIZM IN THE YEAR 2010...

  • Brian Doherty||

    Jules---Sorry if it confused you; the upshot is, the original post was completely correct to begin with. There, that hard?

  • zoltan||

    It's tough for the dumb ones...who are essentially why Wonkette exists.

    REEDIN' IZ HARRRD

  • ||

    You must be insane. A post with 2 sets of strikethroughs, 4 updates scattered around it was "completely correct to begin with"?

    Then why the updates and strikethroughs?

    This guy is a bastard. Just because you are a right winger with a gun who believes in liberty doesn't mean you get to keep your children when you've abused them.

    I wonder what the other 10 of the 11 reasons for this judge's order are? I guess you know, but won't share. I'm going to go ahead and assume that they are witness accounts of neglect and abuse of kids.

    You make me really sick. You don't give a shit about these abused children. It's all about the "liberty" eh? Smack whatever woman you want, punch any kid you want, threaten government workers with guns if you want. God Bless Amurikkka.

  • zoltan||

    You might love the authoritarian style of old news where once it's reported nothing ever changes. Makes sense.

  • ||

    I'm more than willing to discuss the 91% of redacted charges that the author of this ridiculous child abuse defending post as seen fit to hide from the public record. What is Brian hiding about this child abusing scumbag? You know who else hides 91% of the truth from the public? Obamar.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Actually reading the updates gives the entire story of why the piece was updated, including the upshot: Yes, association with Oathkeepers was one of the reasons stated in the legal affidavit explaining the reasons for taking the child. That was the version of the story that I started with; I was given reason to doubt it; I later had it confirmed. And I was polite enough to explain all that to readers as the process went along, including visible examples of the things I wrote which I later had cause to doubt, which happens with blogs which are written quickly in real time. Though that's all a side point to what the post was about to begin with, which is explained in the post clearly. None of it has anything to do with what Wonkette or its commenters had to say about it either; like me, they started with the version of the story that turned out to be accurate.

  • Jules||

    I'm going to wait another little while before I respond in case you need to update or strikethru any of your rebuttal.

    I imagine when your FOIA to verify the Alex Jones allegations about illuminati lizardperson manipulation of New Hampshire Child Services comes back there may be further redactions and repositionings.

    "Reason," lol

  • hmm||

    DRINK!

  • JadedD||

    Shorter Brian Doherty:
    BREAKING NEWS: PEOPLE TYPING CONFLICTING MESSAGES ON THE INTERNET.

  • stew||

    Great pic on Wonkette--might want to have your blood pressure checked, Brian (Wonkettesque snark).

  • zoltan||

    I love how the person who posted Brian's pic in an attempt to mock it is actually a fatter, uglier, impotent emo-child human being.

  • ||

    Please post your pic so we can compare. It's only fair.

  • zoltan||

    Please go fuck yourself with a dessicated sheep dick, you leftist splooge-nugget; it's only fair.

  • ||

    My, my...looks like you have something to hide. Tell me, do you find it difficult to reach the keyboard with your skin fused to the couch? Or do you have a helper monkey who punches the keys for you?

  • ||

    Um, so after reading the article with the IV updates, it seems to me that this teaqqbagging militia type IS a douchebag, wife beating, gun nut, scofflaw, (alleged) child abuser. I'll leave it to the judge to make that final determination.

    Really? Alex Jones' Prison Planet was your primary source? Really? I actually LOVE Alex Jones, but I'll be damned if I'm going to take what I read on his site as fact without looking into it myself. So are there ANY justifications for the state saving a child from harm by removing it from an abuser?

    Wonkette often makes fun of the poor and stupid, but also the rich and powerful. When stupid people start doing ridiculous, evil things, like repeatedly abusing their kids and spouse, they get made fun of.... Well excuuuuse us.

  • zoltan||

    You're not excused for loving the government dick up your ass.

  • ||

    Better a big government dick than a teeny-weeny libertarian one.

    Oh golly, I sure do hope this comment is in keeping with the fine intellectual tradition of "Reason".

  • ||

    Any other gayness you'd like to add "Tholtan"?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, now it's okay to hate on gays?

    Bad liberals. Go to your rooms without supper.

  • ||

    I'm not hating, I'm simply suggesting that if you read zoltan's post's, about a quarter of them are homophobic in nature and having to do with gay sex. I just wanted to make sure that he didn't want to expose any more of his deep seated fears of gay intercourse.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Apparently, you're not familiar with the way we do things here. Most libertarians don't give a damn what kind of sex people have... but we do make fun of it, gay OR straight, on a regular basis.

  • ||

    Mr. FIFY: "Apparently, you're not familiar with the way we do things here."

    zoltan: "You're not excused for loving the government dick up your ass."

    zoltan: "Obama's dick is all over New Hampshire local government..."

    zoltan: "Please go fuck yourself with a dessicated sheep dick, you leftist splooge-nugget..."

    So, that's "the way we do things here."

    Gosh, libertarians are so fair and balanced.

  • hmm||

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. Right?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not my cup of tea, but hey... whatever floats the boat.

  • Timmeh||

    You're linking to Prison Planet? Lol

    No wonder Teabaggers aren't taken seriously.

  • Timmeh||

    You're linking to Prison Planet? Lol

    No wonder Teabaggers aren't taken seriously.

  • ||

    As Jack Stuef pointed out, Jonathan Irish and Stephanie Taylor have had a long history with child protective services. The affidavit clearly states that they had two neglect petitions filed against them in 2009, before Jonathan Irish was a member of the Oath Keepers.
    The fact that these parents had a long history of neglecting and abusing their children, and that the Tea Party bloggers chose to ignore this in favor of the "big government monster" meme, is what Wonkette was mocking. That you folks here at "Reason" (oh, the delicious irony of that name!) have similarly chosen to ignore the documented history of abuse and neglect in favor of a political narrative proves that you are deserving of mockery as well.
    So ha ha ha ha ha.

  • Brian Doherty||

    That history that I sum up before even mentioning Oathkeepers in the original post? Sure, I ignored that utterly. Really, the original post isn't even as long as Wonkette's

  • Brian Doherty||

    Also, the history written about in even greater detail with the quote from the Concord Monitor in update III, an article that didn't exist when I first wrote the piece? That history? It's OK to just say you think having a baby taken from a mother's arms at birth is hoo-larious and worthy of nothing but dumb wisecracks based on your assumptions about the speech patters, diet, living standards, and eugenic potential of the people involved, when it happens to someone who is in a relationship with someone whose politics you don't like, for reasons you apparently don't even understand. (That is, what Oathkeepers actually stand for.) Just be proud of that like everyone else at WOnkette; no need to accuse me of hiding facts that are as plain if not more so in this post than they were at Wonkette---which was, believe it or not, my original source for this story to begin with. And that's OK--he got the facts right, based on his link to Daily Tea Party.

  • ||

    I have to say, again, that the Wonkette post was mocking the Daily Tea Party for making Irish a martyr simply because he belonged to a group the Tea Party is sympathetic to. Here's a direct quote from Stuef's original post:
    "Ignore the part about the father’s history of violence and firearm charges and refusal to attend a court-ordered violence program. JUST LOOK AT THE HIGHLIGHTED TRUTH.

    WAKE UP, SHEEPLE. THEY WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR BABIES JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A TEA PARTY MILITIA. THAT IS THE ONLY REASON THEY WILL TAKE THEM AWAY, NOT BECAUSE YOU’RE TERRIBLE PARENTS WITH A LONG HISTORY OF NEGLECT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT"

    And yes, the all-caps is sarcastic.

    This is about the idiocy of championing someone who clearly has a checkered past with child services simply because he shares the same beliefs about the second amendment that you do.

    Gah. If you don't already understand this, I doubt anything I say will convince you.

  • hmm||

    Your capslock key appears to be randomly sticking.

    Just thought I'd let you know.

  • ||

    As I pointed out in the post, the capslock was part of the original Wonkette post and was part of the sarcasm of said post.

    I know that sentence was buried way down there, but I assure you it was quite legible.

  • ||

    As I pointed out in the post, the capslock was part of the original Wonkette post and was part of the sarcasm of said post.

    I know that sentence was buried way down there, but I assure you it was quite legible.

  • hmm||

    Now your return key is sticking.

  • hmm||

    Or was that in the original article?

    blockquote is your friend, or i

  • ||

    I apologize. I didn't realize that stating "Here's a direct quote from Stuef's original post" would prove too challenging for you to follow.

    Yes indeedy, nit-picking is fun!

  • ||

    I've been cut to the quick by your well-reasoned argument.

    Oh, wait...

  • hmm||

    No reason to wait, you can get to the quick cutting.

  • hmm||

    Also no reason to apologize. I wasn't challenged. I just like making fun of people that use caps for emphasis, even if it was Jack. Which he seems to do a lot.

  • ||

    You mention the history briefly, then push the "big government snatches baby" idea. You also claim that the Wonkette post was aimed at mocking the class and political affiliations of Irish and Taylor, when it clearly is mocking the Daily Tea Party for touting an alleged child abuser as a hero because of his political affiliations. The affidavit mentions not only the two previous neglect complaints, but also that the police and fire department had been called to the home numerous times. The Oath Keepers membership is referenced only in relation to the charge of possession of a concealed weapon without a permit.

    Do you really think that Irish's membership in the Oath Keepers is the reason the child was removed from the home?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Do you really think that Irish's membership in the Oath Keepers is the reason the child was removed from the home?"

    It was a factor.

    Also, Wonkette would have given half a shit about this story if the Oath Keepers angle wasn't part of the story.

    Hint for future reference: Not everyone who hates governmental abuse, is a gun-toting hillbilly.

  • ||

    Um, I spent a good part of my childhood living in a double-wide. And I own guns.
    Hint for future reference: not everyone who hates hyperbolic polemicists is a gun-fearing granola munching yuppie.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I don't fit the hyperbolic polemicist template. Sorry to disappoint.

  • ||

    And yet here you are defending a bunch of hyperbolic polemical tripe.

    Oh noes! The evil lefties over at Wonkette HATE the poors! And guns! And they persecuted POOR POOR Jonathan Irish with their mean nasty words! Mean old lefties. Grrrrrr....

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I've read enough "stupid hillbillies"-style comments from lefties to know they forget to be politically-correct when it suits their agenda.

    We libertarians tend to be un-PC most of the time, which is a much better way to go through life.

  • ||

    If you think Wonkette is PC, you're RETARDED.

    And yes, I am mocking Trig.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I don't sully my computer by visiting your site, so I wouldn't know.

    I do know, though, that liberals are only against hateful speech when it's directed at them.

  • ||

    Riiiiiight. And you know this because you spend all of your time not sullying your computer by visiting Wonkette.

    *sigh*

  • Mr. FIFY||

    On the record, cicada, I also don't sully my computer by visiting:

    DU
    FreeRepublic
    MediaMatters
    or anything with the letters "GOP" in it

    Does that help?

  • ||

    I visit all of those sites upon occasion. It's interesting to read what other people think about things, even if I disagree.

    Oops, I forgot! Grrrrr...ME HATEY RETHUGLICANS. Argle blargle bleeber blorp!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Whereas we tend to be equal-opportunity offenders... except when it comes to abusing children.

    Which has nothing to do with the Oath Keepers.

  • ||

    The Wonkette post (that you won't sully yourself to read) never said anything about the Oath Keepers defending/committing child abuse. It only mocked the Daily Tea Party site for claiming that the ONLY reason that Irish and Taylor lost custody was Irish's affiliation with the Oath Keepers. The Daily Tea Party chose to ignore that Taylor had previously lost custody of two of her children, and that Irish and Taylor had two previous neglect complaints filed against them PRIOR to Irish failing to attend required anger-management classes.

    But hey, I get it, it's fun to root for the home team. Go Oath Keepers! Boooo librul meanies!! Rah! Rah! Rah!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If by rooting for liberty, then sure. Most of us don't vote Team Red/Team Blue.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "The Wonkette post (that you won't sully yourself to read) never said anything about the Oath Keepers defending/committing child abuse."

    I didn't say that. I will say, though, that it's just a convenient excuse for Wonketteers to hate on the Oath Keepers for no good reason.

  • ||

    We nedz xcus nao?

  • ||

    Reading the original post that Brian Doherty got his panties in a twist about isn't voting Team Red/Team Blue. It's educating yourself about what was actually said before you jump to a conclusion.

    Wonkette is snarky. It is decidedly liberal, but it's main target is idiocy.

    Eh, I don't know why I'm bothering here. From reading the comments, it looks like most of the folks here are devoid of any kind of humor. The last thing I want is for you guys to show up and pollute Wonkette with your overly-serious pontification.

    Toodles!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good. Go back to your state-worshipping tug-fest.

    And don't worry... any site that requires people to sign up, isn't for me.

  • Wonkette Commenter||

    Yeah! You tell 'em girl! We're too smart for everyone else!

    Can't wait for the next article Jack Stuef pulls out of his ass!

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    "It's educating yourself about what was actually said before you jump to a conclusion."

    Something that fat dickhead Jack Stuef should try once in his life. He looks like Jonah Hill on a coke binge.

    "Wonkette is snarky. It is decidedly liberal, but it's main target is idiocy."

    How objective!

    "The last thing I want is for you guys to show up and pollute Wonkette with your overly-serious pontification."

    The last thing I want is a myriad of Wonkette twats lecturing us about humor and what their little shitty blog does. Is there ever a dissenting opinion on the site's comments, by the way?

  • ||

    I don't sully my computer by visiting your site, so I wouldn't know.

    I like a man who'll argue for hours on the internet and has the integrity to stand up and say he's actually got no idea what he's talking about.

    Good on ya man. Live free or die.

  • ||

    You libertarians tend to be un-PC except when you are quoting studies "proving" that black people are genetically stupider than you.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    Got something to back that up, chief? Or are you pulling more stuff out of your ass?

  • ||

    I know there are folks out there who think Wonkette has made a fool of you. Well they don't get it. You made a fool of yourself by defending child abusers on some half-baked misreading of public documents. This guy has been abusing his kids for years. You want to defend him because he wears a costume, go ahead. He's still is who he is.

  • hmm||

    This guy has been abusing his kids for years.

    Invoking the great spirit of MNGJOHN. I'm gonna need a cite on that.

  • ||

    It states in the affidavit that Irish is well known to child protective services, and that he had two previous neglect complaints filed against him.
    Here's a link:
    http://dailyteaparty.com/wp-co.....ewborn.jpg

  • hmm||

    So provide the complaints and the findings.

    I've dealt with family courts for a while and a complaint can be anything. Lets see the findings or termination of rights.

  • hmm||

    It's possible he has abused children, but I have yet to see anything that outright states this. Just a mention of two complaints and a rather disturbing mention of an association with Oath Keepers. So, if someone is going to claim abuse then please provide the documents or location they can be found.

    Complaints and familiarity does not an abuse make.

  • ||

    Does the fact that Stephanie Taylor lost the custody of two of her children before Irish was even involved mean anything to you? Maybe child protective services was employing precogs.

  • cicada, simplified||

    It would just be easier to have the state raise all children.

  • ||

    Happens every night.

  • hmm||

    Not until I see why they were taken. Child protective services has a dismal record in all 50 states and every conceived incarnation.

  • ||

    Well as long as you're open-minded about the evidence.*

    *this is sarcasm

  • cicada, simplified||

    Why won't you morons just trust government? They NEVER lie.

  • hmm||

    Go ahead and produce some evidence and I'll be open-minded.*

    *that's not sarcasm

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Too late, it appears cicada is going back to the Wonkette daisy-chain, never to return.

    *sob*

    Okay, I'm over the sadness now.

  • ||

    The guy was accused of refusing to attend a Court Ordered anger management program arising out of prior complaints, among other things. His membership in Oath Keepers is relevant to a determination as to whether that was deliberate refusal, aka contempt, or because of some scheduling conflict.

  • ||

    Listen, no one believes that any of the incriminating documents are legitimate. If you can show where these documents were produced and when, then you MAY have a case. But as it stands, this is just the government targetting groups and group members it finds troubling. Picking them off, one by one.

  • ||

    "No one believes" that, huh, Sparky? Just like "no one believes" that Obama's birth certificate is legitimate?

  • Alex Jones||

    Exactly.

  • Cyto||

    I think you miss the entire point. There's nobody defending any child abusers. There are two points being made:

    1. A court has cited political affiliation as a reason (among others) for removing a child from it's parents.

    2. A political blog has celebrated said removal on the grounds that they don't like the political affiliation of the parent in question. (part 2b is that the bloggers in question do not understand the nature of the political affiliation in question, and said affiliation is actually to the opposite of their assumption)

    Those are the things being criticized here. Defend them if you will, but they aren't very defensible.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Exactly. Despite the bleatings of these Wonketteers, no one at Reason condones or supports child abuse.

    Hintity-hint hint, Wonketteers.

  • Brian Doherty||

    A fair summation, Cyto. Why I thought it was of general policy interest is also stated in the first graf of the original post---where DO those Teabaggers get the crazy idea that elites are contemptuous of them??--and also the specific points of mockery partly in the original post and mostly in the comment thread. Maybe I should have quoted them. But just read the first 30 or so in the original post and its clear.

  • ||

    Brian, /snark off for just a moment.

    The Democrats hold the teabaggers in contempt for their ideas, true. The Democratic solution is to provide better education, the opportunity to make a living wage, and the opportunity to escape the bonds of ignorance and poverty.

    The Republican elite holds the teabaggers in contempt, as well. Their solution is to keep them in ignorance, stoke their fears, and use them as shock troops for their next divisive electoral effort, campaigning against communists or hippies or liberals or gays or muslims or whatever might be the fear of the day.

    Do you see the difference, Sparky?

  • C-rad||

    Sorry, we don't play left/right here.

  • ||

    The Democrats hold the teabaggers in contempt for their ideas, true. The Democratic solution is to provide more taxpayer dollars to teachers unions, the opportunity to expand unemployment by artificially inflating wages, and the opportunity to ensnare more voters in the the bonds of ignorance, poverty and government dependance.

    The Republican elite holds the teabaggers in contempt, as well. Their solution is to attempt to co-opt their positions, pay lip service to their fears, and hope to god that this will be enough to keep their shock troops from destroying their next electoral effort, campaigning against the admitted socialistic progressives who seek to keep the GOP away from the trough of government pork.

    Try it that way.

  • Cyto||

    For clarification: The court may have done well to remove the bit about the political group from it's findings.

    The Tea Party bloggers may have done well to avoid sounding like they had a martyr on their hands when he's in all likelihood an unfit parent, despite his admirable oath.

    Wonkette would have done well to ignore the whole thing.

    As it is, we have a court sounding like joining a non-violent patriotic political organization is grounds for having your children removed, a bunch of right-wing bloggers baited into defending a probable abusive parent, and a bunch of leftie bloggers baited into celebrating the destruction of a family because they don't like the politics of the right-wing bloggers who claimed the family as their own. Since the leftie bloggers are the ones tossing about the douche-bag label, I'll leave it to them to check the mirror for evidence of douche-hood.

  • hmm||

    You don't have to defend the abusive parent to denounce the judicial reasoning.

  • Cyto||

    That's why Libertarians often have trouble communicating with others. We love to parse out interesting logical questions from irrelevant adjunct facts. Most other folks cannot do this. In fact, doing so would be unthinkable. Hence the vehement adherence to positions having nothing to do with the true discussion at hand.

  • hmm||

    There is no delineation between the logical and facts as presented. The mention could have been omitted from the judicial paper work or noted as not being relevant. That is a fairly significant error being made by from the bench that would obviously have ramifications on the case and in the public eye.

    It's not the parsing, its the looking at the entire event. Unlike the original OMG TEABAGGERS BAD take and the new and improved (but pretty tired and worn out) OMG LIBERTARIANS WANT TO KEEL BABIES!

    *yes my capslock key sticks.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's all that irrational Constitution-worship. Tends to cloud the mind and forget we'd just be better off if we let the state run all of our lives.

  • ||

    Wonkette is making fun of the idiots defending this looser. Rightfully so.

  • hmm||

    That MSNBC advertising campaign lookin' like a bad idea yet?

  • MSNBC||

    Lean Forward... and Grab your Ankles!

  • ||

    What is it with you people? This man is allegedly violent and abusive and the state moved to take the child away for ITS safety.
    Wonkette was making fun of the teabaggers for defending a not-so-stand-up guy.
    Oh, and by the way, I am lower middle class and I have what could be termed "rednecks" and/or "yokels" in my family and I still find it funny.
    The righties think it's ok to post what are basically death threats and the like in comments, but that is ok I suppose?
    The reason they listed his militia membership is because he has a history of violence. I'm glad that the gub'ment is looking out for the least of us.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Scenario:

    Another set of parents, similar circumstances, but replace membership in Oath Keepers with membership in the Earth Liberation Front.

    Still think it's okay to mention the political affiliation?

  • ||

    Let's see...

    5. The Rochester District Office of the DCYF and the Rochester Family Court has been involved for approximately 21 months with this family in a case involving two children of Stephanie Taylor; neglect petitions were filed on January 7, 2009 and a Termination of Parental Rights trial was recently concluded as to these two children and the parties await an order on that matter.

    6. Because the family and its history are well known to both the staff at the Rochester District Office of DCYF and also to the Presiding Justice of the Rochester Family Court, the interests of justice argues for change of venue to the Rochester Family Division.

    7. Mr. Irish was court ordered to attend Ending the Violence with Scott Hampton, however, to date, has not completed the program. The Epsom Police Department stated they were very familiar with Mr. Irish, as they have responded to multiple calls, which involved Mr. Irish and firearms, one of which resulted in a pending charge for possession of a concealed weapon without a permit. The Division became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the, "Earth Liberation Front," and had purchased serveral different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and a taser.

    Yeah. I'm fine with that. The hippie sounds like a douchebag.

  • ||

    Who cares? They didn't take the kids because of oathkeepers you idiot.

  • hmm||

    you people...

  • Ry, simplified||

    Trust the government... always.

    Unless it's run by anyone other than Democrats.

  • hmm||

    Or just don't trust it period.

    Or do your homework, maybe cruise the 00-08 articles real fast and come to the above mentioned conclusion and not look like an uninformed troglodyte.

  • hmm||

    oops misread that, go ahead and chalk that up to the retard escaping. I'll work on rounding him up.

  • ||

    The child abuser was a member of a gun-centric group and was himself armed. I think that's important information for the folks that have to (for the child's safety) removed it from an abusive household.... and still wondering what the other 10/11ths of the rationale for this extreme action were. Again, I'd wager good money that it was repeated, witnessed, child abuse.

  • hmm||

    That's an awesome idea. Lets start locking people up, taking kids, and maybe even the death penalty on good money wagers. What could go wrong there?

    I like the, "The child abuser" opening line. Nice touch. Almost as good as the, "you people" approach.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're still not getting the slippery slope of using political affiliations as reasons to intervene in the lives of people.

    Unless we're talking about, say, NAMBLA membership, that is. In a case like that, intervene away.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "a gun-centric group"

    Oh, noes!

  • Wonkette Commenter||

    "But we're so smart over here at our 'political humor' site. How dare you say we are not smart and not funny? Everyone here is a bunch of dumb TEABAGGURS!"

  • ||

    Brian, it is not a "bizarre culture war" to point out that the people who join Oathkeepers and sit around worrying about Obama's Nazi Socialist Kenyan Muslin Army coming to take away their guns MIGHT also be stupid in other ways, too. These MIGHT include things like forgetting to feed, clothe, clean, or not beat the children. Psychopathology tends not to limit itself to a single concept, dearie.

  • Libertarian Jerk||

    You lost me with your irrelevant hyperbole.

  • WilliamHowardTaft||

    Cool your jets, gang. Wonkette makes fun of everyone often.

    It doesn't matter if these parents were part of some awesome militia. People with violent, neglectful histories towards their children put children in danger. If violent, neglectful parents had their child taken away and the Daily Kos was sympathizing with the parents because they were Communists or something, they would still be worthy of snarky internet ridicule.

  • FadHawk||

    Here's the thing... for all the talk of Wonkette "echo chambers", what would the point of this post be? You're certainly not going to make any Wonketteer feel bad for making fun of something they felt OK with in the first place, and you're certainly not going to consider even for a moment that Wonkette might not be in the wrong...

  • WilliamHowardTaft||

    You realize this argument works the other way, too.

    Despite this guy being in a militia, his violent history is a good enough cause for him to lose custody of his children. But you're certainly not going to make any Reason-er feel bad for coming to his defense, and you're certainly not going to consider even for a moment that Reason might be in the wrong.

  • FadHawk||

    Crap, you win. You want mouth or anal?

  • B-Ro||

    This whole thing is a big frothy mess.

  • B-Ro||

    Because I can't resist expanding:

    Wonkette is a humor website that specializes in taking a viewpoint with a kernel of truth, and exaggerating it beyond reason in search of hilarity. They're puerile but powerless, and any attempt to respond at a serious level will be used as fodder for further exaggeration.

    Really, this article has accomplished nothing but cause who-knows-how-many hours and blood-pressure points to be wasted on fruitless arguments and attacks. Mr. Doherty, I don't know if you wrote it due to personal offense or what, but - if you don't mind some unsolicited advice - next time it would probably be a better use of resources (yours and your readers') to stick with the subject itself and not the treatment given the subject by an antireverent humor blog.

    Disclosure: I'm a longtime occasional reader of both Reason and Wonkette.

  • ||

    You sure are a stupid fuckwit Brian D.

    So, you are in favor of child abuse and domestic abuse. No wonder, cause you sure are fucking stupid.

  • Gold ManSacks||

    They are poorz and should have all the kidz taken to rich Chineeze families to be fattened up and eated for calories on a triple bacon-baby burger. No guns for any!! Abortions for allz!!

  • ||

    Has it been PROVEN that Mr. Irish has, indeed, a history of "violence and neglect"??? I don't see that anywhere.

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