Boston Marathon Bombing

MSNBC Host Looks at Boston Bombings, Sees Opportunity to Discuss 'Radical Libertarian Agenda'

Alex Wagner's comfort zone

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So dreamy.

A few weeks ago it emerged that the Tsarnaev brothers' reading and listening material before the Boston Marathon bombings included not just the jihadist jumble that we already knew about, but the Alex Jones show, some far-right literature, and some conspiracist stuff that isn't easily categorized as left-wing or right-wing. The people uncovering this information don't deny that the Tsarnaevs' grievances were centered around radical Islam, but as Bruce Hoffman of the Center for Security Studies told The Wall Street Journal, the brothers "were jihadi autodidacts and no one person shaped all their thinking. Their readings are going to be a lot more eclectic than someone sitting with like-minded terrorists at a camp somewhere."

Since then, I've seen people on the left processing this information in two ways, one sensible and one cracked.

Less pinup potential.

On the sensible side there is Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald. Seitz-Wald enjoys mocking right-wing conspiracy theorists, but he also understands that the Tsarnaevs' worldview is a bit more complicated than the average Alex Jones fan's (and that Jones himself isn't purely a product of the right). So he doesn't dismiss the brothers' Islamic orientation, which was clearly at the core of their grievances, and he doesn't try to reduce their other influences to a simple left/right narrative. Instead he suggests that the story "illustrates how 21st century anti-government conspiracism melts down typical ideological barriers in a postmodern stew of various radicalisms, united by a common deep distrust of the government." My only significant disagreement with Seitz-Wald's post comes when he treats this as a distinctly 21st-century phenomenon, to the point of contrasting Tsarnaev with Timothy McVeigh. The Oklahoma City bomber, Seitz-Wald writes, was "a product of the American conspiracism of his day, which leaned more purely to the right." But the '90s actually saw a surge of the left/right crossover conspiracism that Seitz-Wald describes here—that's the era that prompted Michael Kelly to coin the term "fusion paranoia." Even McVeigh was reading Gore Vidal along with The Turner Diaries.

On the not-so-sensible side we have MSNBC's Alex Wagner, who introduced a segment this week by announcing that the brothers "may not have been the radical jihadists they were initially believed to be." She then cut to a clip of Alex Jones doing his I-have-anger-management-issues act, briefly cited the Wall Street Journal and Salon articles, and introduced a guest, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here's how the interview opens:

And now I'll throw the imaginary beach ball back to you.

WAGNER: We've had you on before to discuss the rise of hate speech, but I feel like this piece, the idea that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been influenced and motivated by some of the stuff that is happening domestically here in terms of far-right conservative fringe movements, is fairly shocking. Tell us if you will a little bit about the rise of hate groups in the recent past.

POTOK: Well, we've seen an enormous rise, not only in hate groups, but in so-called "patriot" groups or militias, really dating back to when Barack Obama first appeared on the political scene in the United States in the fall of 2008. Starting right then we really saw these groups start to expand very rapidly, I think largely in response to the idea that the United States is becoming less white, is demographically not going to be dominated by whites as it has been throughout most of its history.

And now, the wacky observational humor of Mark Potok.

Already the segment has gone off the rails. I'll give Potok a pass for saying that Obama "first appeared on the political scene" in 2008—we all have slips of the tongue sometimes, and I know what he meant to say—but the rest of this is inexcusable. His organization distinguishes "hate groups" motivated primarily by bigotry from "patriot groups" motivated primarily by fear of the government and/or of New World Order–style conspiracies, and so he makes that distinction at the beginning of his answer; but then he proposes a motive for the patriots that's more at the core of what the haters would believe. (Yes, there's all sorts of overlap and mutual influence out there, but he's supposed to be explaining the growth of a category he explicitly distinguishes from hate groups.) He also says "or militias," as though "militia" and "patriot group" were interchangeable categories, but the SPLC actually treats the militias as a subset of the patriots—and while their last report showed an increase in the number of patriot groups, it showed the number of militias declining. (It showed a slight decline in the number of hate groups too.)

Oh, look. Someone has a book to sell.

All this, remember, is in the context of a segment allegedly devoted to the motives of the Boston bombers, who specifically cited U.S. foreign policy as the reason for their attack—and who, as immigrants of central Asian descent, are not likely to be beloved by the sorts of bigots who are terrified by America's demographic shift. So what does Potok have to say about them?

Listening to what Tamerlan Tsarnaev read and so on, you know, what I think it shows you, in part, is that these guys were significantly more Americanized than many of us thought. They had very much gone down the rabbit hole of conspiracy thinking and absorbed all kinds of ideas—"the world is not as it seems" and so on. That's a very American preoccupation.

Yes, it is. (Hey: I just wrote a book about that!) But it isn't exactly an unknown idea in the former Soviet Union or the Islamic world either. At any rate, that isn't what interests Wagner, who responds to Potok's comment with this:

We talk about this happening in some sectors of the American political scene, which is the dovetailing between sort of a radical libertarian agenda and a sort of Southern, racist, post-neo-Confederate attitude towards governance, and that view informing a certain sector of American politics. Is that recent?

And they're off. The Tsarnaevs are occasionally mentioned in passing in the remainder of the segment, but Wagner has found her comfort zone.

NEXT: DC Tops CDC Study on Economic Losses Caused by Hangovers

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    1. Never discount pure, uncut mendacity as their intentions.

      1. No, I get that. It’s even more stupid if anyone buys it.

        A great argument could be made for libertarians being potentially violent and prone to revolt if they’d cast off what’s left of American tradition and use revolutionary quotes from the Founders. It’s bullshit, of course, but it could look pretty violentish.

        1. You know what would be awesome? If they could present one, single incident, where a libertarian turned violent for political purposes.

          To be honest, a revolution is about what we need right now, but I don’t see that happening.

          1. To be honest, a revolution is about what we need right now, but I don’t see that happening.

            I really hope it doesn’t happen because the result would not be libertopia, but instead someone overtly socialist with “rights” such as healthcare and a basic standard of living guaranteed in the new constitution.

            1. *something* not someone

            2. I don’t know if that’s would be the case, given the people that support those policies aren’t the ones with the guns.

              1. Damn you! Damn you to hell!

            3. I’ll take the independent syndicate-states of Snow Crash.

              1. Don’t you mean Diamond Age? And yeah, the ability to choose your “state” and have The Feed would be a vast improvement on what we have now.

                1. Maybe, but I thought that bled over into Snow Crash. I can barely remember the last book I read, let alone something from 15 years ago.

                2. It’s the same universe in both books. Snow Crash posits the ‘burbclaves and Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, then Diamond Age develops it further with the Vickies and whatnot.

            4. I doubt it. The socialists don’t own guns.

              1. If it came to a constitutional convention, then it wouldn’t matter who has the guns. The delegates would likely be democratically chosen for the appearance of legitimacy, and since the socialists outnumber the rest of us they would have a greater say in the new constitution.

                1. You know, even at the time of the founding, in some ways the Constitutional Convention was a coup. The delegates far exceeded their authority as representatives.

                2. I’m thinking that post-revolution, the winners of the revolution would determine the delegates.

                  Did the founders invite the British to their conventions?

                  1. The conundrum with libertarianism is that people who do not wish to have power over people tend not to seek out power. That leaves power in the hands of people who seek it out – people who are decidedly not libertarian.

                    Though I can see why both the right and the left fears growing libertarian sentiment, because that sentiment means people are becoming fed up with those who seek out power and may seek to take that power away. But then what? The cycle just repeats itself.

                    1. It’s been the problem all along. Libertarian politics go hand-in-hand with minding your own business as much as you can.

                    2. The conundrum with libertarianism is that people who do not wish to have power over people tend not to seek out power.

                      I agree with this. I want nothing to do with power.

                      HOWEVER, if there was a new constitution to be written that would limit the powers of government and would ensure I’d be left alone in the future, you can bet your sweet ass I’d be neck deep in its creation.

                    3. Who needs a new constitution? The one we already have does a pretty good job of limiting government power and thereby maximizing individual freedom. The problem is, a constitution isn’t some kind of self-enforcing magic scroll. If a majority of citizens (or even a sizable and really motivated minority) are committed to upholding the principles of the constitution, we’re golden. If they’re not, then the constitution really is “just a damned piece of paper”.

                  2. If you’re referring to my comment, I’m talking about the colonial delegates. The convention was some years after we’d already beat the British.

                    1. If you’re referring to my comment

                      No, sorry, that was for sarc. Was pointing out that the revolution would be against the socialists and after we defeat them, we wouldn’t invite them to help write a constitution.

                    2. It’s these goddamned threaded comments. Why does a comment I clearly placed under one show up under another?

                      P Brooks is the wise one; we are all idiots.

                    3. we are all idiots.

                      But it’s such a simple fix. All the other comment boards place the name of who you replied to in the header of each comment. It ain’t rocket surgery.

                      Francisco d Anconia replied to Pro L| 8.15.13 @ 2:11PM |#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                    4. It’s like magic. Is there nothing your god, Technology, cannot do?

                    5. It can’t fix Tony.

                    6. Nothing can fix stupid.

              2. The socialists don’t own guns.

                Oh, I don’t know about that. There are plenty of redneck Republican socialists out there.

          2. Was the guy who crashed his plane into an IRS building a libertarian?

          3. I’ve got one, bitch. The American Revolution. Bunch of libertarians used violence to overthrow the legitimate government. Many people were killed. With guns. Those same revolutionaries denied women the vote, enslaved African-Americans, slaughtered the Indians, and forced people to own guns in their so-called “Constitution,” which should be called the Gunstitution.

            1. But that’s over a 100 years ago and shit.

              1. No, no, that’s only when we want to dismiss things. Old, tired, static, dead. When we want to tarnish someone with their tainted past, we can go as far back, as obscure, and as barely relevant as we want.

          4. Carl Drega, maybe?

    2. We talk about this happening in some sectors of the American political scene, which is the dovetailing between sort of a radical libertarian agenda and a sort of Southern, racist, post-neo-Confederate attitude towards governance, and that view informing a certain sector of American politics. Is that recent?

      Alex Wagner is impervious to the fuckery

  1. Whatever they’re smoking, it must be good. Seriously, it looks like they took a post-doctoral degree in advance ignorance.

  2. So the meme in the next election is going to be libertarians are violent, racist Muslims.

    1. And also religious bigots who PRETEND to be Muslims because they want to give Muslims a bad reputation.

    2. Beware “virulent libertarian populism”.

    3. Their deep ties to Somalia provide further evidence of this.

    4. How dare you insult my heritage!? I’ll kill you!

    5. Speaking of that, has anyone seen Kabir al-Muftin Abu Hamar heller ibn al-Sharmuta al-Brandeisi lately?

    6. You guys laugh…

      They (both left and right) will do everything in their power to discredit libertarianism. They see the movement growing and they fear it.

      1. Fine. Bring it on. We’ve got one thing they can’t touch–we’re the only alternative to statism, which is increasingly untenable.

    7. “My cat has four legs. All dogs have four legs. Therefore, my cat is a dog.”

      Do I have the logical progression about right, here?

  3. Well, they were literally Caucasians.

    1. When Potok said the brothers are an indication that radical right wing hate groups are going to less white in the future, it raised my wtf flag on that basis too. Islam does not equal brown, oppressed people.

  4. Well, we’ve seen an enormous rise, not only in hate groups, but in so-called “patriot” groups or militias, really dating back to when Barack Obama first appeared on the political scene in the United States in the fall of 2008.

    Because “patriotism” = “hate”?

    And didn’t these groups appear in the 1990s, as a reaction to fears that the Clintons were going to turn the US into a socialist backwater? Bill at least turned out to be more conservative than the Bushes, so the groups subsided until a more outwardly socialist candidate Obama was elected. I don’t see where race figures in.

    And how does a Chechnyan separatist bomber tie into US patriot groups? Because the bombing was on Patriot Day?

    1. Patriotism = hate if you lean republican or libertarian. Duh!

      Also, didn’t a lot of the patriot groups start forming in the spring of 08 on Tax Day?

    2. “And how does a Chechnyan separatist bomber tie into US patriot groups?”

      If you’re a lefty, quite easily.

    3. Look, dude, what matters is that they get to talk about “right wing”, and “patriot groups”, and “hate”, and “Southern neo-Confederate”, and the rest of their hobby horses. They’ll get there no matter how convoluted the path is.

      On the plus side, Wagner seems pretty cute.

      1. Dude, she would rat you out to the brown shirts the second you expressed any doubt as to how much unqualified love you have for the collective.

        1. Talking about the collective isn’t what I would have in mind. Less talking, more…

          Besides, how dare you imply I can’t lie to chicks for sex!

          1. How do you think she talks dirty?

            “Oooo baby, give me some of that hard radical individualism!”

            1. How much you want to bet that Ms. Wanger squeezes her thighs together at the thought of lil’ Tsnarnaev’s swarthy good looks and his rugged revolutionary and violent anti-Americanism?

              She is one sick fuck.

              1. Hey, she knows she can reform the bad boy. She just knows it.

                1. Yeah, but Epi will slip up in the heat of the schtupping and the Goon Squad will be on him before he finishes.

              2. You got that right.

                From her wikipedia page:
                “She has described herself as progressive and believes that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.”

                1. “She has described herself as progressive and believes that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed.”

                  Me too. With: “Given the right of every human to defend with any force their life, liberty and property from being forceably taken, Congress shall make no law preventing the ownership of firearms or the ammunition thereof by adults in the United States not convicted of a felony.”

                  1. I’m cool with that, except the part about felons. We all know that in this country, just because you’re convicted doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Brian Aitken, AFAIK, will never be able to own a gun again. My neighbor, a single woman living alone, who has a professional job and a decent life, is ineligible to own a firearm (not sure what she was convicted of, but I know she’s a good person).

                    1. Gordon Liddy has said many times that as a convicted felon (x9) it is illegal for him to own firearms. But, his wife owns many, and she keeps some under his side of the bed.

                    2. Even if you are guilty, I think you’re still entitled to be able to lawfully defend yourself or others especially once you’re released and the state is no longer responsible for your safety.

                    3. It was dumbfounding how many progtards seemed genuinely surprised and outraged that Zimmerman got his gun back after the acquittal. It’s like they thought the government was just going to keep it for good measure even though there was no legal basis for doing so. I wouldn’t be surprised if they expanded the ban to include anyone ACCUSED of a felony.

                  2. adults in the United States not convicted of a felon

                    You’re not thinking like a statist. Simple solution: make everything a felony.

                  3. “Firearms”? Nope, too limiting. Just “weapons”. Rail-guns, laser cannons, phasers, I don’t care, I don’t want the statists to be able to seize on minor linguistic technicalities. I believe that people (not “the people”, just people) have an inherent right to defend themselves against aggression by any means that happens to be available and effective.

                    Oh, and I have to agree with those objecting to the “convicted of a felony” part, too. Considering the wide range of activities (many of them involving neither force nor fraud) that currently count as “felonies”, that’s also giving up far too much.

      2. On the plus side, Wagner seems pretty cute.

        Give her a few years. The proggy diet seems to turn most of them into Potoks

      3. Her prejudice and misconceptions would look better on my bedroom floor, if you know what I mean, because I don’t.

      4. Well, she certainly didn’t get hired for her brains.

      5. I suppose if you absolutely have to listen to dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks, batshit-insane “Progressive” blather, it does sound marginally better coming from an attractive woman. Mute the sound, and her show might actually be enjoyable.

    4. Yes, it’s all militias and right-wing hate groups the second people oppose a Democratic president or appear to become any kind of political threat, isn’t it?

    5. Because “patriotism” = “hate”?

      NEW MARKETING OPPORTUNITY!

      “Hatriotism”

      1. Dude, that’s brilliant. Don’t let Wagner know you came up with it, she’ll use it.

        1. Fuck she will…I’m off to the trademark office!

      2. +1 Roman salute.

  5. Well, we’ve seen an enormous rise, not only in hate groups, but in so-called “patriot” groups or militias, really dating back to when Barack Obama first appeared on the political scene in the United States in the fall of 2008.

    I seem to recall that the left was obsessed with patriot groups and militias in the nineties, or has that obsession been memory-holed because it doesn’t fit the current eternal verities?

    1. The argument is that the militias grew during the Clinton years, faded under Bush, and came back under Obama. And that part of the story is pretty much accurate.

      1. I think anti-government feeling faded in the mainstream for a few years because of 9/11. I don’t think it’s purely because of who is in office. For instance, I knew some conservatives–not libertarians–who hated Bush. They weren’t militia members, but you get the idea.

      2. The problem with that theory Jessee is that the militias hated George HW Bush. It was Bush whose FBI did Ruby Ridge and it was Bush who talked about the New World Order that set people off so much. The idea that the militia movement is in any way in bed with the Republican party is leftist paranoia.

        1. The problem with that theory Jessee is that the militias hated George HW Bush. It was Bush whose FBI did Ruby Ridge and it was Bush who talked about the New World Order that set people off so much. The idea that the militia movement is in any way in bed with the Republican party is leftist paranoia.

          The militias didn’t really take off until after Waco, though you’re right that Ruby Ridge was a big grievance. Anyway, I’m not saying that they were in bed with the Republicans. I’m saying that the movement faded during the W. years and came back under Obama. I don’t think anyone who follows the militias really disputes that sequence of events, however you want to explain it.

          1. That is because gun control is the number one issue that drives people to join militias. If we ever had a President Guiliani, militias would grow under a Republican.

            1. I think ProL is probably right. Had much more to do with 911 than political parties. For a little while, people were more worried about terrorists than about gun control or other government attacks on freedom.

      3. Militias are the inverse of war protesters?

  6. Stop splitting hairs, CE. They were a Caucasian bombing conspiracy!

  7. radical libertarian agenda

    He’s threatening the purity and fidelity of the herd! Smite him!

    1. Anyone who wants to be left alone cannot be left alone, because they want to be left alone. Do you understand?

      1. Get a load of the libertarian extremist, threatening to kill all of us if we don’t “leave him alone.” Leave him to his explosives manufacture, he means.

        A political system of violence!

      2. I’v been pondering the idea lately that the proglodytes are little more than a precursor to Pierson’s Puppeteers. They exhibit many of the same characteristics, except for the 2 heads.

        1. Well, they’re both herd animals, so you’ve got that going for your idea. And the cowardice.

          1. See? And anyone who proposes any alternate system of governance is “insane.”

        2. The leader of the Puppeteers is known as the Hindmost. Since Pierson’s Puppeteers are foremost concerned with their own safety and the survival of their species, the most important Puppeteer is considered to be behind, or protected by, every other member of the species. It is a shortening from the more literal the one who leads from behind.

          Hmm…

  8. WTF is post-neo-Confederate? For shit’s sake, my wife’s afterbirth made more sense than this Alex Wagner twat.

    1. It’s after pre-neo-Confederate, of course.

      1. No, you fool, it’s a pre-neo-Confederate that had Confederate reassignment surgery. You idiot.

        1. Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should be an idiot or be a fool?

          1. I reckon yer a foolish idiot. *spits*

      2. I thought they were proto-post-Unionists?

        1. Anti-proto-post-Union-establishmentarians, perhaps?

    2. I’m anti-bellum.

  9. They’re about as good at analyzing terror attacks as they are at creating digital maps of New York State.

  10. I really hate that limacoid from the SPLC. Some one needs to slap his sanctimonious ass.

    1. Hey, I learned a new word! Turns out it’s nothing like a limacon.

  11. Believing in government conspiracies is totally a right wing Libertarian thing. I mean it was totally those guys who bought into the various Kennedy assassination theories, the CIA introduced crack to kill black people theories, the 911 truther movement. You know, that was all right win. Anyone who believes in government conspiracy theories is of course a right winger.

    MSNBC lowers the IQ of the entire world by osmosis.

    1. Look at the bright side, the paranoid Left and the paranoid Right can always find common ground about the JOOZ!

      1. *Ahem*, that has been revised to the “banksters”.

    2. You don’t have an entire political party buying into leftwing conspiracy theories. Conspiracy nuts on the left remain “fringe.”

      1. BACK…back into the dresser drawer thockpuppet!

        1. Is believing in sock puppets a conspiracy theory?

      2. We don’t. Most Republicans don’t believe that shit. In contrast the chairman of the DNC in the 00s believed trutherism was a totally legitimate point of view and said as much on national TV. And a substantial majority of self identified Democratic voters believed 911 was an inside job for most of the decade.

        In a way we really owe Obama a debt for getting the Democrats to stop believing in such crazy things and embrace patriotism and government again. Without Obama, they would still be believing in who knows what kind of craziness and maybe getting violent over it.

        I know I am pretty hard on Obama. But in fairness he does deserve some credit for keeping Democrats for believing in really insane things and doing even worse.

        1. Yeah, good thing no one believes in insane “conspiracies” like the Justice Department intentionally arming Mexican drug lords in order to undermine the second amendment, or funneling weapons through Benghazi in order to secretly arm Syrian rebels, or the IRS targeting people who don’t agree with them, or the NSA’s massive surveillance of every American.

          If it wasn’t for Obama all the above might be happening.

      3. You’re not fooling anyone, Tony. Except maybe yourself.

      4. You don’t have an entire political party buying into leftwing conspiracy theories.

        Nor is there an entire party buying into rightwing conspiracy theories. Except maybe the one in your head. Douche nozzle.

  12. “”””radical libertarian agenda”””

    How dare you insult lobster girl, I will kill you.

  13. “The SPLC? Aren’t they the radical leftist organization that incited a mass shooting recently?”

    Huh. I assumed that it must be a fun game to play, but it just makes me feel stupid.

    1. A derp for a derp leaves the world much derpier.

    2. Just because they put up a map listing “hate groups” and some nut took said map and went to one of the groups and shot a bunch of people and the SPLC still has the map up, doesn’t mean they did anything wrong.

      But Sarah is totally responsible for the Giffords shooting. Never forget that.

      1. Um, the guy just shot one person. And that person lived. To be fair.

  14. Mendacious twat meets fallacious douchebag.

    1. Except said twat ends up no cleaner than before.

  15. Instead he suggests that the story “illustrates how 21st century anti-government conspiracism melts down typical ideological barriers in a postmodern stew of various radicalisms, united by a common deep distrust of the government.”

    Now, why would anyone distrust the government? It’s not as though the Joint Chiefs of Staff would approve of a false flag terror operation on American soil to gin-up support for it’s anti-communist crusade.

    We talk about this happening in some sectors of the American political scene, which is the dovetailing between sort of a radical libertarian agenda

    Libertarians have an agenda? What does this agenda entail? Is the alleged agenda itself that Alex finds radical? Is there a segment of the agenda that is radical? Are libertarians per se radical? If libertarians are radical, then what is the root from which libertarianism proceeds?

    and a sort of Southern, racist, post-neo-Confederate attitude towards governance, and that view informing a certain sector of American politics. Is that recent?

    All Southerners are racist? All racists are Southern? What’s the difference between a Confederate, a neo-Confederate, and a post-neo-Confederate? When did neo-Confederate period end?

    I love MSNBC. Always such clear and persuasive rhetoric.

    1. We laugh. But it is actually pretty chilling shit. MSNBC doesn’t take a dump unless the White House tells them they can and where to take it. This shit came straight from the White House like everything else that goes on that network. And the idea is to equate anyone who objects to the government with Radical Muslims in people’s minds. That way no one will object when the government treats both groups the same.

      1. MSNBC doesn’t take a dump unless the White House tells them they can and where to take it.

        No wonder Rachel looks so bad this week. No provisions then for when Barry O is traveling.

    2. radical libertarian agenda

      It doesn’t mean ANYTHING.

      My brother was on Maddow once and described Mitch Daniels as having a “radical [X] agenda”.

      He doesn’t talk like that in real life. I think it’s a phrase he was told to use because the Democratic Party propagandists find it invokes the right emotions.

      Anyway, I threw up a little, but I still love my brother.

  16. That’s Potak? and they put him on TV?

    1. He definitely went to Marxist Community College Professor School of Fashion.

    2. He looks like a homeless guy and that gooses donations!

    3. Do you think normal looking people work for the SPLC?

      1. granted. but couldn’t they hire a PR firm of something.

      2. The Board of Directors are all pretty normal looking.

        http://www.splcenter.org/who-w…..-directors

        But they hide all the uggo’s in the Senior Program Staff.

        http://www.splcenter.org/who-we-are/leadership

        1. Director of Development and Brand Communications

          And why do they need a marketing director? Perhaps they have a product they’re selling?

        2. This is some scary shit

          http://www.splcenter.org/who-w…..seph-t-roy

          1. What’s scary about that? I mean, what could be wrong with a group with a social/political agenda training Federal, State and local law enforcement? This way the SPLC can tell the police who the bad guys are. They’re helping, really.

          2. For a minute I thought these links said “spicenter”, which confused me.

      3. it’s like a leper colony

        1. Is it just me, or is or is Heidi Beirich suffering from male pattern baldness?

          1. perhaps Heidi was a Henry at one point. NTTAWWT

          2. Damn I hate being interrupted while typing. How the F did I get 2 “or is”
            in there?

  17. I think it’s about trying to frame “libertarian” similarly to “tea-bagger”, but with a more sinister twist. It’s purpose is to warn off anti-authoritarian lefties who might otherwise be attracted to libertarianism.

    “See, libertarian is a more evil and clever form of right-wing nuttery. They really are and attract terrorist nuts.”

    1. They always have some other. Nothing they ever try works. So the constantly need a scapegoat and some kind of division and hatred to distract people from that.

    2. It’s purpose is to warn off anti-authoritarian lefties who might otherwise be attracted to libertarianism.

      MSNBC: The screeching sheep dogs of the meadows.

    3. You are exactly correct on this. The left is seeing a threat emerge and coalesce much like the tea party did. They will use everything in Alinsky’s playbook to marginalize the liberty movement.

  18. It’s quite a stretch* to link the Boston Bombers to rightwing American fringe groups. Much less libertarians.

    I’ll bet the Tsarnaev brothers, if they even put much thought to domestic politics, believed in redistribution via government force.

    *And by stretch I mean a malicious lie.

    1. They didn’t have a coherent ideology. They were not even good Muslims. They were losers who wanted to be famous. That is all they were. And the more people talk about this fucker the more he feels like he got what he wanted.

      1. Alex Wagner and other pundits on both the left and right have no incentive to think before the say anything. They have no consequence. They say stupid shit, and they get paid. Sounds like a great gig.

        1. They get to shill and lie for a living. I hate the insistence that every event must stand for something larger. No it doesn’t. These people were not associated with a larger organization. They Muslims and did what they did in the name of Islam. But they are not a stand in for every or even most Muslims. There are no larger lessons here beyond sometimes people are sociopath assholes.

          1. There are no larger lessons here beyond sometimes people are sociopath assholes.

            That scares the pants off of leftists because it means there’s not much anyone, including the government, can really do to prevent all violence.

            The old saying rings true: Shit happens.

          2. well, it wasn’t in a skinhead operation in Idaho that they received training if Russian intelligence can be relied on. Skinheads seem to be more practical in that regard. Less blowing shit up, more highly coordinated bank robberies is closer to their agenda.

          3. There are no larger lessons here beyond sometimes people are sociopath assholes.

            This cannot be repeated enough. In this case and after most mass shootings and similar terrible events. There is no lesson to be learned. Then only people who say there is are just pushing their pre-existing agenda.

  19. And in a totally unrelated matter:

    “Last August, a Virginia man named Floyd Corkins set out for the offices of the Family Research Council, a conservative group with a history of opposing gay causes, where he intended to shoot the people who work there and smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their corpses’ faces. He wounded a guard who then disarmed and subdued him, stopping the massacre before it could begin. After Corkins’ arrest, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins declared that the would-be killer had been “given a license” to conduct his crime by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which had labeled his organization a hate group.

    “…Corkins pled guilty to a series of charges stemming from the attack. As The Washington Examiner reported, Corkins told the FBI “that he identified the FRC as an anti-gay organization on the website for the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Specifically, he saw the council on the SPLC’s “hate map.”

    “…By the SPLC’s standards, on the other hand, Perkins had a point…”

    https://reason.com/blog/2013/02…..t-murderer

    1. That is the one real no kidding instance of political violence in this country that was not related to Islam. And it is totally ignored. Leftist political violence is to be encouraged. Now you see why they hate private ownership of guns so much.

      1. And remember that anyone who, by speech or by voting, supports the idea that marriage is the union of one (1) man and one (1) woman is a potential terrorist, chafing at the bit to launch themselves in suicide-bombing attacks against gays.

        In short, anyone who holds the views which were not only conventional several decades ago, but which even the most left-wing people would have indignantly denied holding, are now so normative that dissenters are potential terrorist.

        The fact that there’s an *actual* terrorist who supports gay marriage has disappeared down the memory hole.

        Imagine if this Corkins fellow had attacked the headquarters of Lambda Legal or the ACLU. We would be hearing about it to this day, conservative leaders would have been called upon again and again to renounce Corkins, and their denials would have been dismissed as hypocritical, since we all know that every enemy of gay marriage is basically a murderer.

        1. You are utterly obsessed with sex. Like, way more than most of the preverts on this site.

          1. Wait, what?

            1. More than sugarfree?

              1. More than WARTY. That should tell you something.

                1. darius404 looked up at the President of Lambda Legal. He was fascinated by the pres’s well-toned muscles and commitment to LGBT rights, but he was worried about his reputation for S&M roughness.

                  “Be gentle with me,” darius begged, knowing as he said it that it would simply set his partner off.

                  “Put on these handcuffs,” was all his partner said. “And gag yourself with this Reason T-shirt.”

                  Darius complied readily, anxious to please his new master…

                  1. ^Case in point.

        2. I think you may be overstating it a bit there, Eddie.

    2. ISOLATED INCIDENT! Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along!

  20. She gave it away about 9 minutes in: “I don’t want to conflate conservative resistance to government programs with radical terrorism, at all, but?”

    1. I don’t want to do this but watch me spend the next ten minutes doing exactly that. And since when are political views fairly characterized as “resistance”?

  21. You know who else wrote a book?

    1. Brian Doherty, Radley Balko, Kennedy, Matt Welch, Nick Gillespie, and Hitler?

      1. I would have said Barack Obama, but I think someone ghostwrote those books.

  22. That Potok continually categorizes libertarians in with patriots leads me to believe that he’s likely never met an example of either.

    1. Libertarians, Christian Theocrat separatists, they are all the same man.

      It takes an epic amount of stupid and or mendacity to claim that Libertarians and the Christian militia and patriot movements are in any way the same thing. Libertarians are just so down with a nationally established legally enforced Christian theocracy. And fundamentalist Christian cults living in compounds are all about gay marriage and legalized weed.

    2. He doesn’t have to be familiar with the ideas of other people in order to demonize him.

      Will the people who get his hysterical fundraising letters demand that he give evidence of his accusations before sending him money?

    3. I’m sure he knows, he just doesn’t care. Your mistake is assuming his motivations are ideological. When it comes to the SPLC (at least its leadership) the motivations are almost always financial.

      Stephen Bright on Morris Dees

  23. Looking at my reading materials if i ever go crazy and start blowing people up i wonder what the media will make of all the pop science evolution books (Beak of the finch, selfish gene etc), pulp sci-fi and land use/zoning books I own?

    1. Before you do that, could you start collecting Ziggy cartoons and posting them to your wall so it looks like his anti-IRS rhetoric is what finally drove you to do it? It would at least make the media coverage hilarious.

      This hate filth was in our very comic pages!

      We pledge harmless, unfunny strips written by minorities like Jump Start and Curtis for now on!

    2. I was wondering if the stated reading material of the bombers was something they referenced or if it was just books they had or websites that were in their history. I know that just because I own a book doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with everything in it. I’ve got Marx next to Friedman next to Keynes next to Mises in my econ section. Probably, though, I would just be condemned for my fantasy books, and rightly so.

      1. You’ll all be condemned when your browser histories show that you frequented this website.

      2. Confess, hard covers of everything R. A. Salvatore ever wrote with an autographed edition of The Icewind Dale trilogy signed by Drzzt himself?

        BTW, whatever else can be said about RAS, he writes pretty decent melee scenes. Being a former bouncer, some of its drawn from life.

        1. R. A. Salvatore ever wrote with an autographed edition of The Icewind Dale trilogy signed by Drzzt himself?

          Didn’t Salvatore end up being a non-person and in fact was a group of writers?

          I read the first books but those were not specifically about Drzzt…I hardly remember the plot…in fact i remember the Dragon Lance stuff I read more vividly.

          1. According to Wikipedia, he is real.

  24. Oh fuck I was browsing the SPLC “Hate Incidents” list and there is not any single entry for the “Justice for Trayvon” attacks or the beatings by mobs of “teens” in certain cities on people who look different than them, etc, etc…
    I have been forced to change the acronym of the SPLC to stand for Sanctimonious Pandering Limaceous Crapbags.
    Thank You and Carry on-

    1. Violence perpetrated by blacks against whites isn’t a hate incident. It is justice. Duh.

  25. Liberals desperately wanted the marathon bomber/s to be homegrown conservative/libertarian racists. When they learned they were just the standard islamic terrorists, they were deeply disappointed. How can you smear political and ideological opponents with people who were obviously motivated by a foreign ideology? So now the left is grasping at straws to try and gain advantage from a tragedy.

    Next they will try and link Adam Lanza to libertarianism because he played Bioshock.

    1. I’m finally playing Bioshock after dithering about it for the last six months or so. I have to say, I like it, but I’m not in love with it.

    2. they were just the standard islamic terrorists

      They weren’t really that either.

      1. They were, really. Why people are so in denial about Islamism is beyond me…

    3. Liberals desperately wanted the marathon bomber/s to be homegrown conservative/libertarian racists.

      I understand David Sirota is still inconsolable.

  26. which leaned more purely to the right

    The person who wrote that should be shot, regardless of ideology.

  27. His organization distinguishes “hate groups” motivated primarily by bigotry from “patriot groups” motivated primarily by fear of the government

    When government is your god, anti-government sentiment is bigotry.

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