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Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Man way too high

I finally got to see “Man on Wire” and am stilled stunned by it. It’s hard for me to imagine someone actually doing what Philippe Petit did in 1974 in New York. Amazing. I don’t think I could have even looked over the edge of the North Tower, much less stepped out on a quarter-inch rope of steel cable. Crazy. Just watching made my stomach do back flips. Wow.

oh, and it was nice to see the Twin Towers again . . . . . standing.

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I guess I are a rightwing extremist now. Officially. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security’s recently declassified report on “Rightwing Extremism” the list of scary people just got a lot longer. Look at their description of those who may be rightly classified as “extremists”:

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

I have a few questions for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who recently defended this report on CBS News. Ok, so groups, movements and adherents that reject “federal authority in favor of state and local authority” are now considered “extremists”? Does this include those who hold that the 10th amendment is a good idea? Those who believe the states still have constitutional rights? Who believe that the Federal Gov’t is best when it acts within its constitutional authority? Those sorts of people? Like the Founding Fathers?

Do you actually mean to say that groups and individuals “that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion” are “extremists”? Most of us realize that abortion is not the only legally sanctioned evil there is, but are you really saying that people who are dedicated to seeking an end to legalized abortion can be put on the list? Not just people to kill others (i.e, murderers) but those “dedicated to [lawful] opposition to abortion”? Like people who peacefully protest outside of clinics? All those frightening mothers with children?

Do you intentionally leave off mentioning those dedicated to the violent extermination of all who disagree with them? You mention “white supremacists” and I’m with you there, but what about those who like to blow up big buildings with lots and lots of people in them? And then brag about it and celebrate? Or those radical environmentalists groups who cause thousands of dollars in losses destroying private property? Or those who overtly seek to provoke racial animosity? Of course, you did mention the “white supremacists” but I didn’t see the Nation of Islam listed. Pregnant moms who oppose abortion are “threats” — or, excuse me, DOMESTIC RIGHTWING THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY — but Louis Farrakhon is ok?

Is there any evidence that those you warn us against in your report are actually genuine threats to the citizens of our country? No, wait, I see that the report begins by saying “The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.” So, since you admit that you have no evidence, is this merely a grand exercise in demonizing innocent people whose only “crime” is disagreeing with the present administration’s agenda?

Assuming your definition of “right-wing extremists” — those groups and individuals who have a “hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups” — and considering the general (and sometimes pointed) opposition to Christian positions being expressed by the President and the members of his administration, could it be that the largest group of “extremists” are, as they say, right in your own backyard? Like, just down the street? Sometimes the most obvious things are missed when they’re right under your nose.

Just a thought.

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