Idaho Libertarian Billboard Comparing Obama to Aurora Shooter Leads to Predictable Outrage

The photo speaks for itself:

The Idaho Statesman has the details:

An electronic board on Franklin Road in Caldwell juxtaposes photos of James Holmes, accused of killing 12 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last week, with President Obama. About Holmes, it says: “Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out.” About Obama: “Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize.”

What’s the point? Obama broke his promise to bring the troops home and many young Americans have died, said Maurice Clements, who is helping keep alive the provocative libertarian tradition of the late Ralph Smeed, whose billboard (now electronic) is a Caldwell landmark. “We’re all outraged over that killing in Aurora, Colo., but we’re not outraged over the boys killed in Afghanistan,” Clements said of public sentiment.

What connects Holmes and Obama? Clements said he’s just comparing the way society reacts. “We’re not saying that Obama is a lunatic,” he said.

A Facebook posting about the billboard on Boise station KBOI-TV’s wall led to several hundred responses, some in the typical tone of indignant offense, but also several comments that supported the observation.

Ralph Smeed, who died in 2010, was heavily involved with libertarian political activism in Idaho. He appeared in a Reason Magazine piece in 2006 by David Weigel about libertarian political efforts in Smeed’s state. You can read Weigel’s piece here.

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  • ||

    Now that is some world-class trolling right there. Excellent.

  • Bam!||

    "I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan." But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!" -- The Joker

  • Caleb Turberville||

    -1 for no Cesar Romero.

  • Tulpa the White||

    It's not trolling IMHO, it's pointing out an uncomfortable truth.

    If that's the standard for trolling, I see why you guys think I'm a troll.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What connects Holmes and Obama? Clements said he’s just comparing the way society reacts. “We’re not saying that Obama is a lunatic,” he said.

    Well, Obama is a sociopath, which is a species of lunatic.

  • Whahappan?||

    As are most politicians.

  • Mensan||

    I disagree. I think Obama is a psychopath rather than a sociopath. An there's no such thing as a lunatic.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I really don't know what to say about this one. Originally I thought that this isn't the kind of publicity that libertarianism needs. But I have a really hard time getting past the fact that he's right.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Yeah, I don't know either. I guess some people only pay attention when they're shocked. I don't want libertarians to be in the asshole corner, but it seems like we're uniquely positioned to be one of the few anti-war voices out there.

  • ||

    There's no such thing as bad publicity, Hugh. And besides, libertarians are already maligned. At least throw some truth out there while being so.

  • Hugh Akston||

    But there is such a thing as bad publicity. Obama and his army of flying deathbots rain bad PR on Middle Eastern shitholes every day. And TEAM PURPLE goes out of its way to do something inventively retarded all the time.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    i think it would be better politically if they had bush up there with obama, however then it would take away from the peace prize irony.

    i like the billboard, hopefully it will get some people to think. probably not though.

  • Generic Stranger||

    You realize Bush is out of power, right? Obama may as well be Bush III, but that's beside the point. Continuing to rail at someone who has hasn't been in power for several years makes you look like a deranged lunatic, especially if ignore the guy currently IN power that is just as bad.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    You could probably throw Bush up there, and point out the hypocrisy of his "pro-life" views vs. the policies he helped along. And not to disagree with Generic Stranger, but the more someone can point out that both sides are shit and will always be shit, the better.

  • WWNGD?||

    "You're not helping..." is what I thought.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Not only that, but only one of them is bragging about who he killed.

  • Killazontherun||

    If you are not willing to execute with your own hands, you have no business ruling.

  • ||

    Winter is coming

  • Killazontherun||

    Poor Ned. Decency only gets you so far.

  • Killazontherun||

    And reading it in late July in Carolina, nearly one hundred and sweltering humidity outside, the books are so chilling I feel cold as fuck.

  • tarran||

    To be frank, I am cheered by the fact that most of the comments on the facebook page are defending the billboard - not only on First Amendment grounds, but also as being factually correct and appropriate.

    Nice change from my facebook friends who have been cheering Menino's McCarthyism toward those opposed to legalized gay marriage.

  • Sevo||

    If it was sponsored by an anti-war 'activist' group featuring Bush, there wouldn't be a peep.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Sure there would. It would just be coming from the other side of the Ruling Party.

    -jcr

  • anarch||

    "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." ~ Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)

  • sticks||

    Ah. that is probably where the bit I heard was inspired from

  • sticks||

    Who said that if you kill a few people society thinks your evil but if you kill millions society is actually kinda impressed? or something like that.

  • ||

    "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."

    Misattributed to Stalin.

  • NotSure||

    I also thought it was Stalin, he was then ?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WRONG. As usual.

    Kill a few people, they call you a murderer. Kill a million and you're a conqueror. Go figure.
    -Eric Qualen

  • Tulpa the White||

    The misattribution of one quote is plagiarism, the misattribution of millions is a statistic.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Also, this post has caused Muslima.com adverts to show up on the side bar. Unhooded Persian girls are the loveliest.

  • Killazontherun||

    Her ethnicity doesn't stand out (swarthy brunette, handsome set eyes and nose), but my advert has a woman with a knife in hand just out of the frame. The message beneath: The Four Dangers Destroying Men.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I keep seeing that one on every page. It's a little unnerving.

  • anarch||

    How is the comparative loveliness of a hooded one assessed? (Just sayin'.)

  • Bill||

    Define unhooded.

  • ||

    I get the Snorg-T meh girl. NTTAWWT.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Take heart, Obama fans: Eventually, it will be illegal to criticize politicians.

    Hell, that might even happen while Obama is still in office. So, hang in there, Team Blue.

  • T o n y||

    All the daily gun victims who don't live in pleasant Colorado suburbs don't get a mention?

    Body count has never been the only factor in public reaction. Most people celebrate the outcome of WWII despite the many unfathomable horrors the US perpetrated on the world.

    Still, except for the fact that Obama got the Nobel before fully formulating a foreign policy, the billboard is not wrong. The libertarians behind it aren't going to make many friends of the families of Holmes's victims, though.

  • NotSure||

    He could have done the decent thing and refused to take the prize, he did not, he took it and then killed thousands. It is indefensible.

  • John C. Randolph||

    All the daily gun victims who don't live in pleasant Colorado suburbs don't get a mention?

    Of course not. The media couldn't care less about the people murdered every day in Chicago, where the government violates their right to defend themselves.

    -jcr

  • John||

    This is the kind of shit that liberals did to Bush all of the time. Their faux outrage over this is pathetic.

    They should do one with Rahm Emmanuel with the caption "supports gun laws that make his citizens defenseless in the deadliest city in the world and gets elected mayor"

    http://nalert.blogspot.com/201.....-city.html

  • John||

    http://hotair.com/headlines/ar.....of-course/

    Gun Control supporters give Obama a pass.

    He only beats us because he loves us and he is under a lot of pressure right now with that damn Bush in the White House.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...Billboard Comparing Obama to Aurora Shooter Leads to Predictable Outrage

    Why are people so outraged by the comparison? Obama isn't that bad that Holmes' feelings should be hurt.

  • John||

    Don't worry. In a year Libertarians can put the sign up about Romney and be friends with liberals again.

  • Mensan||

    Despairingly, we all know that Mittens or Barry will be elected in November. While I think Romney would be marginally less horrible than Obama, I still would rather see Obama win reelection. The reason is, if Obama wins, then we're stuck with his tyranny for 4 more years. If Romney wins, then we're potentially stuck with his for 8 years.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Absolutely not.

    I simply can't stand the thought of having to hear him insult me for another 4 years.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    What and Romney won't insult you? At least Obama isn't even pretending to give a shit about our ilk. Romney does and will lie to our faces in order to dupe us into huddling under his robe. Fuck That Shit.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama broke his promise to bring the troops home and many young Americans have died, said Maurice Clements,

    No he didn't. What he actually said was:

    Obama said troop levels must increase in Afghanistan.

    "For at least a year now, I have called for two additional brigades, perhaps three," he told CBS. "I think it's very important that we unify command more effectively to coordinate our military activities. But military alone is not going to be enough."

    But keep believing that Barry was the "peace candidate." It's about as accurate and realistic as a large, anthropomorphic rabbit that shits multi-colored eggs.

  • John||

    But he was just saying that stuff for the proles Coward. He didn't mean any of it. He was too dreamy to mean it.

  • RBS||

    If he could just get a second term, then you'll see...

  • John||

    A second Obama term would be full of LULTZ. He would either do all of this crazy shit and totally destroy the Democratic Party or he will bow to political reality and leave his prog supporters devastated and disillusioned. Remember once he wins a second term, he can't be elected again so he is of diminishing value to the cause.

  • ||

    A second Obama term would be full of LULTZ.

    I'm going with the first option. Obama is, first and foremost, a political animal. And now that he'd be freed from the constraints of having to campaign for reelection, he'd pull out all the stoppers. There's nothing more dangerous than an extremely powerful man who's got nothing to lose, and I have a sick feeling that Obama is going to prove that.

  • John||

    If that happens, and I don't think it will because I am doubtful of his re-election chances, it will be the end of the Democratic Party outside of the really blue enclaves. Look at the damage he has already done. They went from huge majorities in both houses of Congress to probably losing both in 2012. Another four years of Obama going full crazy and you will see a 60+ majority Republican Senate.

  • T o n y||

    One can almost hear John climaxing as he finishes this post.

  • Brutus||

    Open wide, Tony.

  • Iraqi child||

    A second Obama term would be full of LULTZ

    No, it would not.

  • John||

    Since the US is not in Iraq anymore, can't see how you would care, unless you think Romney plans to reenter Iraq and keep Al Quada from murdering you.

    No stupid is quite as stupid as peacenik stupid

  • Calidissident||

    The comment is anti-Obama, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to make a defense of Romney in your post. And I'm laughing at the idea that the goal or effect of reentering Iraq would be "to keep al 'Quada' from murdering" us.

    It's funny John, how you're one of the biggest government skeptics on economic/fiscal and domestic issues, but when the subject turns to foreign policy, you don't question the motives, wisdom, or abilities of politicians

  • Mensan||

    "Since the US is not in Iraq anymore ...

    And on December 25th a fat Kraut in a red fur suit flies around the world in a magical sleigh delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys.

  • Mensan||

    "Since the US is not in Iraq anymore ...

    And on December 25th a fat Kraut in a red fur suit flies around the world in a magical sleigh delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys.

  • sloopyinca||

    Since the US is not in Iraq anymore,

    John, do you know how I can forward this post to my brother in law? He was just deployed to Iraq three weeks ago and I'm sure he could use a good laugh.

  • Somali Child||

  • Bill||

    He sent a shiver up my leg.

  • Tulpa the White||

    He said he would bring the troops home from Iraq, though. So wrt Iraq he was the peace candidate (assuming you believed him at the time).

  • John||

    You didn't build that was just Obama going black. And it is thus racist to speak of it

    Watch Obama's delivery in the snippet put together by this Republican ad.

    The key thing is that Obama is angry, and he's talking not in his normal voice but in a "black dialect." This strikes at the core of Obama's entire political identity: a soft-spoken, reasonable African-American with a Kansas accent. From the moment he stepped onto the national stage, Obama's deepest political fear was being seen as a "traditional" black politician, one who was demanding redistribution from white America on behalf of his fellow African-Americans.

    Jonathan Chait

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....works.html

  • Mensan||

  • Evan Rogers||

    Outrage? Nah. No outrage here.

    Just "accuracy".

    The media doesn't want to be anti-war, even during a decade long quagmire, so it's up to the people.

    The Dem's have been convinced that killing is OK, and the Republi's will do whatever their slick leader tells them.

    It's up to the libertarians to present the message of liberty.

  • Anonymoose||

    "It's up to the libertarians to present the message of liberty."

    So we're fucked then?

  • avsteele||

    Its a bad billboard and it won't convince anyone.

    Who is the audience for this billboard? If its purpose is to indulge the ego of its author, then it is probably a success as-is. The author seems to go out of his way to try to try and offend as many people as possible and doesn't make an effort o convince then of anything.

    IS this sign anti-Obama? Anti Nobel prize committee? Anti-Europe? Anti-intervention? Anti- "big event over-reaction"?

    If it's trying to tell people who already don't like Obama a reason to not like him, then it is not necessary.

    Its only useful purpose can be to convince people who are on the fence about Obama that this foreign policy is murderous.

    On the left I would say something like

    (left panel)" (top) Madman kills 12 in a crowded Aurora theater. (bottom) a nation is saddened"

  • avsteele||

    (line limit?)

    (right panel) (top) Madman kills 12 Pakistani children in drone strikes (bottom) a nation is silent

    it keeps the focus nice and tight on what is being said, and doesn't belittle the views of people who might think 12 people being shot to death in a theater is a big deal.

  • Fluffy||

    I totally disagree.

    Obama enjoys the reputation of a peacemaker while living the life of a killer.

    That can only happen as long as the illusion of his image can be maintained.

    Everything that outrages that image makes it that much harder to keep it up.

    Why do you think liberals are outraged? If the statement about Obama was simply crazy, they wouldn't be mad, they'd laugh. They're pissed off because they know it's true. They just think it's "unfair" to point out that it's true, because "a President has the responsibility to keep us safe" and "the Republicans would say he was weak if he didn't have the drone program" and every other "complication" they think justifies their guy.

    Denigrating Obama's image is the best thing you can do, because it shames his supporters to the extent that they're honest with themselves.

  • John||

    No it doesn't. First, his supporters have no shame. Second, the two situations are in no way analogous. Sorry Fluffy, but no one is going to buy that a President fighting, even an ill advised war, is anything like what Holmes did. It is just not going to convince anyone of anything.

    And the fact that it is such a douche bag move and such a stupid comparison just allows his supporters to safely ignore it. The only thing this bill board does is allow liberals to tell themselves that Libertarians are morons whose points can be safely ignored.

  • Fluffy||

    Second, the two situations are in no way analogous.

    Obama is much more analogous to a drunk driver than a mass shooter, sure.

    But that doesn't mean that attacking his image isn't worthwhile.

    It is just not going to convince anyone of anything.

    I didn't say "convince". I said "shame". Haven't you been beaten over the head with all the "Saul Alinsky" stuff out there enough to realize that yet?

    More than half of Obama's appeal has always been Intangible Good Feelings. Well, Intangible Good Feelings are particularly vulnerable to attacks of this kind. They wreck the buzz, and the buzz is all this guy's got.

  • John||

    More than half of Obama's appeal has always been Intangible Good Feelings. Well, Intangible Good Feelings are particularly vulnerable to attacks of this kind. They wreck the buzz, and the buzz is all this guy's got.

    Only for you, not for most people. And fighting the war does increase the good feeling. It allows Obama to wave the flag and look Presidential.

    To the typical Libertarian peacenik, they see that stuff and go "oh my God". But the typical American liberal or conservative sees that kind of stuff and thinks "yeah man". Right or wrong, that is reality.

    This billboard makes most people left and right think Libertarians are just douche bags looking to score cheap and meaningless snark. And does what? Get Glen Greenwald and his five followers to feel slightly guilty before they pull the lever for Obama anyway?

  • sloopyinca||

    I think you're probably right, John. And if pointing out the evil murderdrone program makes people call me a douche, I'll wear it like a badge of honor.

    Ultimately the program will be exposed for what it is, and I'll be on the right side of the conversation when that happens. Being called a douche until then is just fine with me.

  • robc||

    Sometimes the choir needs preachin' too.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Moreover, people do not have the right not to be offended. Whenever the pearl-clutchers can be shown something that makes them shit their pants, an angel gets its wings.

  • ||

    And the liberals respond with their typical handwaving and Bush-blaming. Who could have predicted that?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obama enjoys the reputation of a peacemaker while living the life of a killer.

    No kidding. Not long ago, I was talking to somebody who described the Assassin-in-Chief as a "Man of Peace".

    I somehow managed to subdue my urge to laugh in his face. Why, I don't know.

  • Mensan||

    I would have had to subdue the urge to punch him while claiming that I am a man of peace.

  • ||

    This is a spectacularly idiotic comparison.

    Holmes deliberately murdered as many innocents as he had the power to, and for no apparent reason. His actions can not remotely be described as a response to any prior act of violent aggression.

    While there are many valid criticisms that one can make of Obama, one can not make the same charge against him as against Holmes.

    The US military presence in Afghanistan is not an unprovoked act of violence, but a response to previous acts of mass murder (by a terrorist group that maintained its intention to continue such acts whenever they got the chance). The violence the US government projects in that country is targeted at the terrorist group that perpetrated them and the theocratic regime that supported them. Unlike with Holmes, innocent people are not the target of violence.

  • ||

    innocent people are not the target of violence

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • sloopyinca||

    Are you out of your fucking mind, BG? Seriously, have you not seen the collateral damage in the murderdrone strikes in Pakistan, Qatar, Iraq, Somalia, etc?

    This isn't just about Afghanistan. It's about us imposing our will on an entire region of the world just because we can do whatever we want to people that have absolutely no chance at ever harming us or our interests. DO you think the average "terrorist" that talks shit about America from his mud hut in the middle of the desert has the means or ability to harm us in any way? No way in hell does he, but we'll drone the fuck out of him, his family and his neighbors in the name of "keeping America safe." It's a disgusting show of force with no other purpose that for the current occupant of the WH to prove he's just as bloodthirsty as the idiots in Team Red. And it's shameful, criminal and immoral to any decent human being that values freedom of speech, freedom of association or national sovereignty.

  • ||

    The fighting in Pakistan is an extension of the Afghan War (the Taliban and Al-Qaeda retreated to Pakistani territory and are continuing to fight from there), so the same justification applies. US involvement in the Iraq War is over, and Obama (to his credit) opposed the 2003 invasion in the first place.

    Are the drone strikes in Somalia aimed at random people, or do they target Al-Shabaab militants? If the US ignored Al-Shabaab it is possible that they would merely “talk shit about the US from mud huts” rather than attack the US (though far from guaranteed, a group with a similar ideology in this area bombed US Embassies in 1998). But they have launched attacks on many other innocents in the region, including some of our allies. And the stated cause they are fighting for is a Taliban-style theocracy. So Al-Shabaab is certainly not innocent.

    I’m not aware of details of drone strikes in Qatar, do you have a link?

    The US is most certainly not “imposing our will on an entire region of the world just because we can do whatever we want…”.

    You have given reasons why you think Obama’s foreign policy is repugnant, which is technically not the same as arguing that the killing the US does in warfare is morally equivalent to killing random innocents for the lulz. If you want to debate what changes (if any) should be made to US foreign policy, I’m game; but so far nothing you’ve said has given me reason to doubt my initial point that the comparison is absurd.

  • Mensan||

    "US involvement in the Iraq War is over ..."

    ... and on December 25th a fat Kraut in a red fur suit flies around the world in a magical sleigh delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys.

  • sloopyinca||

    The Paki adventurism is an extension of the Afghan conflict? That might be news to the dead Pakistani kids that have no interest in the US/Afghan conflict.

    IRT Somalia, if Obama wants to implement war powers there, he's free to go to Congress for an AUMF. Until then, he's nothing but a war criminal.

    I said Qatar when I meant Yemen. My mistake there.

    And no, I don't think killing these people with drones is the same as killing for the LULZ. I think it is 100x worse because he actually seems to be trying to capitalize on it politically by leaking information on the strikes. Most serial killers simply do it because they are mentally ill.

  • ||

    You haven't disputed my explanation for why parts of Pakistan are included in the battlefield (enemy militants retreated there and are operating out of that territory to wage war). You have merely made what seems to be an Argument from Collateral Damage - that it is unacceptable for US/NATO to wage war with drones because there will inevitably be some innocents on the battlefield killed.

    So are you a pacifist or have you invented a new form of warfare that enables one to always avoid all harm to civilians while fighting enemy militants in close proximity to those civilians?

    You say Obama’s violence is worse than random pointless killing because he is tries to capitalize on it politically. It seems we have very different concerns in assessing the morality of violence. To me trying to score political points has little or no bearing on how moral or immoral an act of violence is. Rather, I look at the purported justification and weigh how reasonable the claim is that the violence was defensive. In the context of a war; I look at the reasons for involvement in the war, one’s conduct and level of care to reduce civilian casualties, and the conditions one will require to make peace.

  • Fluffy||

    How about the people the Bahrainis and Saudis killed in Bahrain, with our arms and support?

  • ||

    Did Obama (or anyone in the US government) order the governments of those countries to use deadly force against peaceful protesters? Or indicate that he supports such a thing?

    Or did the government simply sell arms to those countries before the crackdown started, which those governments then had the power to use any way they liked?

    I'm in favor of a UN peacekeeping force in Bahrain to protect non-violent protesters and mediate between the government and opposition. And I'm in favor suspending aid to Bahrain unless they agree to cooperate with such a UN mission, and to improve their human rights practices.

    But I don't think it is quite fair to blame Obama for the deaths of innocents in Bahrain.

  • Tulpa the White||

    But I don't think it is quite fair to blame Obama for the deaths of innocents in Bahrain.

    It wouldn't be, if the rationale he attempted to justify his Libya adventure with wasn't equally applicable to Bahrain.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Holmes deliberately murdered as many innocents as he had the power to, and for no apparent reason. His actions can not remotely be described as a response to any prior act of violent aggression.

    Oh shit, it's a conserva-troll!

    All military age males in a strike zone.

    According to the US's own standard, as applied to Al-Qaeda's viewpoint, 9/11 was Al-Qaeda killing some American militants with airplanes but a few women and children got in the way.

  • ||

    The article you link to did not claim that Obama targets civilians.

    Contrary to what seems to be your implication, the article did not claim that Obama considers every "military age male" to be an enemy combatant subject to being targeted. It did not get into the issue of target selection at all, but rather Obama's method of estimating civilian and militant deaths after the fact.

    Al-Qaeda had no conceivable reason to think that the twin towers were military targets, and in any case they are not fighting for any just or legitimate cause.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Al Qaeda is a bunch of assholes who deserve to be flayed to death. No one here is going to dispute that.

    But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the US' behavior toward non-al-Qaedans.

  • IceTrey||

    "His actions can not remotely be described as a response to any prior act of violent aggression."

    Doesn't that describe Obama and Libya? Somalia? Yemen? Pakistan?

  • ||

    No, not really.

    In Pakistan (as I mention above) the militants who picked a fight with the US retreated there and are continuing to wage war to try to get back in power. That is why the US is targeting them with drones.

    In Lybia, Somalia, and Yemen; the groups targeted are/were engaged in violence - but the violence in those cases was not generally aimed at Americans or taking place on American soil. One can argue, therefore, that the US should have stayed out of it.

    But that is not really the argument that is being presented here. It is one thing to argue that the US should not have intervened in Lybia's civil war regardless of the cause or grievances of either side. It is another thing to deny that the Gaddaffi regime engaged in violent aggression against (initially peaceful) opposition protesters.

  • Mensan||

    "Unlike with Holmes, innocent people are not the target of violence.

    So, if somehow Holmes was able to reclassify his victims as something other than innocent then his killing spree would be acceptable as well? If he could just ex post facto declare that anyone killed in his attack was, say, a militant, regardless of the lack of any reason to believe that assertion? Then it would be okay?

  • ||

    If there were any objective reason to believe that the people Holmes was shooting at were attacking him, he could have argued self-defense.

    If there were any objective reason to believe that the people Holmes was shooting at were attacking an innocent third party, he could have argued defense of that person.

    There happens to be no objective reason to believe either of those things.

    In the context of an act of war on a battlefield, you must have an objective reason beforehand to believe that the person/building/place you are targeting is an enemy military target. And you must carry out the attack in a way that seeks to minimize civilian casualties.

    Are you claiming that Obama simply orders the bombing of random places without any evidence that there are enemy militants in them?

  • Tulpa the White||

    So if somebody in the theater had beaten Holmes up ten years ago, and he decided to settle the score by going to the theater and shooting everyone vaguely resembling the guy who beat him up, then THAT would be like Obama (and Bush).

  • ||

    That is really not an apt analogy, for reasons I shouldn't have to spell out.

    With Al-Qaeda, and the Afghan invasion, we were not talking about a single who engaged in non-fatal aggression a decade ago in an isolated incident that is long over. Al-Qaeda maintained its intention to continue "killing Americans wherever they find them". Al-Qaeda thus constituted an onging threat in 2001 (and one could argue still does, though they are much weaker now than they were back then).

  • Rhywun||

    I am reminded of the dude that was handing out toy guns in Harlem - the message was completely lost amid the pearl-clutching.

  • R C Dean||

    Given Scalia's eagerness to uphold gun "regulation", I would say one near-certain result of a second term would be the loss of the heller majority and the official gutting of the 2A.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Scalia's "moderation" on that regard was almost certainly done to keep Kennedy on the side of the angels.

  • box_man||

    I think that the message that was intended to be communicated as referenced by the article itself, is a particularly valid point. What bothers me about it is that it construction relies on logical fallacies to get that point across. Libertarian or not, bad reasoning shouldn't be excused simply because it supports an idea somebody agrees with.

  • T o n y||

    The ironic thing about outrage over Obama's foreign policy (outside of the early Afghanistan surge, which was probably a mistake), including drones, presidential-approved kill lists, and reliance on special forces and cyberwar, is that each of these is intended to accomplish goals with a much lower body count than the prior administration's preferred methods. "Kill list" sounds awful, but the point is to be much more targeted than the US has ever been before.

    The objective reality is that Obama has been more judicious than his predecessor, but there has never been a point in the entire history of this country in which it hasn't committed atrocities on foreign soil.

    I hesitate to call the Greenwaldian pacifists naive, because it's obviously true that the US deploys violence overseas without much in the way of scrutiny or checks and balances. As long as we know a more peaceful world and a less violent USA is something to strive for, not return to--as such a thing never existed.

  • sloopyinca||

    The objective reality is that Obama has been more judicious than his predecessor, but there has never been a point in the entire history of this country in which it hasn't committed atrocities on foreign soil.

    Jeffrey Dahmer killed indiscriminately because he just didn't want his victims to leave him. Meanwhile, Dennis Rader (BTK KIiller) stalked his victims and planned the murders quite intricately.

    So, compare the way Bush and Obama have executed the "war on muslims terror." Just as the same for the victims of Dahmer and Rader, however they did it, the net result for their innocent victims is the same.

  • T o n y||

    An interesting debate for a bong session, but the only relevant question is whether Mitt Romney will have a higher or lower body count. I concede that I don't know since he hasn't articulated a foreign policy in any detail. That he's surrounded by Bush-era neocons is not encouraging.

  • sloopyinca||

    An interesting debate for a bong session, but the only relevant question is whether Mitt Romney will have a higher or lower body count.

    Maybe that's the only relevant question if you are a Team Blue or Team Red sycophant. Those of us that don't see things through an "either Red or Blue" prism don't agree.

    I concede that I don't know since he hasn't articulated a foreign policy in any detail. That he's surrounded by Bush-era neocons is not encouraging.

    Not encouraging at all. If only we had a choice other than the warmonger who kills and the one who says he will kill if given the chance...

  • A Serious Man||

    You are so full of shit Tony. Either murder is wrong and is to be opposed or you're okay with it because your guy is in office. No liberal ever took a nuanced view of Bush's foreign policy. The view was resoundingly anti-war, which the left has completely abandoned because they can't appear racist.

  • ||

    Toady, your 1:31PM comment might make sense if a Republican had put up the sign but if you read TFA you'll see it was put up by libertarians.

    It will be any easy change if Mitt is elected. only half the sign will have to be changed. Of course, the only difference will be is that sycophants like you won't be giving the Nobel Not George Bush Prize to Romney.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The ironic thing about outrage over Obama's foreign policy (outside of the early Afghanistan surge, which was probably a mistake), including drones, presidential-approved kill lists, and reliance on special forces and cyberwar, is that each of these is intended to accomplish goals with a much lower body count than the prior administration's preferred methods.

    Is that why more US troops have died, both month-to-month, and in total, in Afghanstian, in the previous 3 1/2 years, than in the 8 years that preceded Obama being sworn into office?

  • sloopyinca||

    Racist!

  • Tulpa the White||

    So your argument is "Bush did it too"?

    Surprising.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "killed thousands"

    Citation?

  • sloopyinca||

    Here's your citation.

    Civilian casualties since 2009 are well into the thousands.

    Add the total from this to the total if you like.

    And those are just in Afghanistan, shithead. I can't find accurate numbers on Pakistan, Qatar, Iraq, Somalia, etc since those stats are controlled by the government and are being suppressed.

  • Suellington||

    In other news coming out of Texas, the DEA steals a man's big rig, uses it in a botched drug sting that leaves an informant dead, and gets cops to shoot each other. They then leave the owner liable for the costs of the wrecked rig. No comment from them because "they are still investigating."

    http://www.chron.com/news/hous.....743683.php

  • sloopyinca||

    Holy Fuck!

    FTA: Panic at the Patty home these days can be triggered by something as simple as a deer scampering through the wooded yard or a car pulling into the driveway. One morning as his wife made breakfast, one of his young sons suddenly bolted across the house yelling, "Get the guns!"

    A Bronco sport utility vehicle had pulled into the driveway past a broken gate. The dogs were barking in the darkness. Patty grabbed a pistol and headed for the front yard.

    Doesn't this idiot, moron and dumbass (dunphy's exact words) know that a deputy would have been justified in shooting him dead if he had been at his gate unannounced? Or is that just in Florida and Washington State?

  • Tulpa the White||

    Depends on how "broken" the gate was. If it was clear that the driveway was intended to be blocked, but for instance the lock didn't work properly, then he'd be justified in bringing his gun with him to greet the intruder.

    If the gate was actually open, I don't think so.

    Note that I haven't stated whether it's a cop or not entering the driveway, as it's irrelevant.

  • robc||

    This is why you put GPS units in trucks like some trucking companies do. Take a detour, get fired.

    Interestingly, he may have saved the driver's life if he had done that. Unless the DEA made the guy do something else (my money is that like the FSU chick, the driver turned informant to avoid some piss-ass drug charge).

  • Cdr Lytton||

    He had GPS according to article, but doesn't seem to have monitored it in real time or reviewed the logs regularly.

    "See! It's his own fault." /DEA

  • robc||

    Yeah, I saw that, its what made me think of it. But yeah, if you dont monitor it regularly, no point in doing it.

    I know an employee at a local, largish trucking company, and GPS monitoring has saved them a bunch of money. The drivers hate it.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    I don't blame them. My company (not in trucking) uses it for some of our fleet vehicles. It's like having someone looking over your shoulder every second and not just for the simple stuff like speed and position. Geofencing, full realtime feed from the OBDII (hard braking, fast acceleration, idling, etc.) and real time alerts to their supervisor if any of the above go outside of preset parameters, along with logging of the data for several months.

    No company, frankly, that operates vehicles can afford not to install GPS tracking. The liability and returns from increased productivity and decreased misuse are just too large. It's also why proposals to use some sort of GPS logging for vehicle mileage tax scare the shit out of me. One just so victim story and the floodgates will be opened wide. Gov. Otter is one of those pushing such a tax. (Hey! We're back on topic with Idaho and it's semi libertarian government.)

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