MORE UPDATES: The guard, Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, shot earlier today by right winger von Brunn has died.

The 89 year old gunman, James Wenneker von Brunn 88, of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, shot one person, who is in grave condition in hospital. The gunman was himself shot by one or more guards and has also sustained life threatening injuries. Reporters on the street are saying he is not expected to live. The gunman was using a rifle.

D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes said the suspect walked into the museum at about 12:50 p.m. ET with a rifle and shot a guard. U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser says one or more guards at the museum returned fire, hitting the suspect.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the suspect immediately began shooting his rifle as he entered the museum. The FBI said it had no earlier reports of threats against the museum.

Gunman in critical condition
Authorities said the gunman was in critical condition and the security guard was in grave condition. Both were taken to George Washington University Hospital.

A third person reportedly was hurt after being cut by broken glass.
MSNBC

You’ve heard of this guy before. In 1981 he tried to take hostages at the Federal Reserve. he apparently has been an anti government activist, anti-semite, anti-tax/fed activist, armed terrorist, and I suspect a teabagger and a Republican.

This is one of the violent acts that was incited by Sarah Palin and John McCain, and the intellectual leaders of the Republican Party, Rush Linbaugh and Michel Bachmann, that we all feared . Your chickens are coming home to roost, bitches.

He has a website. This seems to be it. He also wrote a book called “”Kill the Best Gentile” which is a reference to a biblical passage in which god or somebody instructs somebody to … kill the best Gentiles. (A Gentile is a non-Jewish person.)

UPDATE: There was a press conference a few minutes ago. Von Brunn has been charged with murder, but not yet with any hate crimes or civil rights violations.

It turns out that the guard that was killed had seen the elderly Von Brunn coming up the stairs of the museum, and opened the door for him. That is when Von Brunn pulled a shotgun from beneath an overcoat and shot the guard at close range. One wonders if it is significant that the guard was African American, given that the killer was a well known white supremacist.

The FBI and DC police told us at the news conference that they did everything right. They also told us that they see no evidence of a conspiracy with others involved. They are working to piece together a minute by minute reconstructions of Von Brunn’s movements over 36 hours or so prior to the shooting.

Von Brunn remains in critical condition in the hospital.

Here is an interview with Sara Bloomfield, director of the Holocaust Museum.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Comments

  1. #1 R. Totale
    June 10, 2009

    You’re a bit of an hysteric aren’t you, Greg? Not one tragic event (bonus if it involves guns!) can go by without you trying to lard it up with some partisan bullshit.

  2. #2 Brian X
    June 10, 2009

    R. Totale:

    A white supremacist attempts to shoot someone in the Holocaust Museum in a client where the conservative wing of the media is whipping the mouth-breathing idiots of this country into a paranoid frenzy and somehow Greg is the one making it a partisan issue?

    What turnip truck did you fall off of?

  3. #3 mk
    June 10, 2009

    @R. Totale…

    Do you think it is not possible to incite people to do bad things?

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    I don’t think you should be trivializing the importance of this event. Yes, there is partisan bullshit. It is the bullshit that came out of the mouths of Sarah Palin and John McCain, and their agents and supporters, during the campaign. I”m sorry, but there are many of us who are not going to allow the world to forget what they stirred up, and what Michele Bachamnn and others continue to advance. You can’t incite violence and then when the violence happens squirm out of it as you are suggesting.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    June 10, 2009

    Totale, explain to me which part of the conspiracy-mongering, xenophobic, wanting citizens “armed and dangerous,” frenzy-whipping, batshit insanity spewed by (let’s see…yep) exactly the people Greg names is carefully shielded from people like von Brunn, who are extreme enough to do it? At what point are any of these people (except McCain, speaking once or twice when directly confronted with the lunacy) saying, “Uh, hey, guys, no matter how much we stir this pot, don’t do anything, you know, real about it”?

  6. #6 mk
    June 10, 2009

    I’ve tried repeatedly to check that link but it seems busted. Either it’s been taken down or it’s being crushed by the volume.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    I think the link is crashed. I’m very sorry I did not archive it before that happened (though I did try).

  8. #8 Jason Thibeault
    June 10, 2009

    R. Totale: I think I’ve had just about enough of people defending the indefensible for one day…

    Exactly how many terrorist events incited by right-wing blowhards have to happen before people like you realize that there REALLY IS A PATTERN when someone dares to point one out? How partisan is it to connect the dots between people being incited to violence, this fact being pointed out in the media in full view of the public before anything happens, THEN bad things happening that fall directly under the purview of what violence was being incited?

    In short: turn off the Glenn Beck before you hurt someone.

  9. #10 J-Dog
    June 10, 2009

    Just another typical Republican Conservative upset that the”Young Punk McCain” failed to get elected. I’m sure that Bill O & Hannity will lionize the cowardly attack, yet blame Obama and/or Sotomayor for it.

  10. #11 Andrew
    June 10, 2009

    The news is making much of the fact that he is an old guy. They are saying old guys are supposed to mellow.

  11. #12 mk
    June 10, 2009

    Thanks Jason!

  12. #13 Wyatt
    June 10, 2009

    Jason: We don’t even know a fraction of it. The threats that are both credible and not reported because they did not need to be reported are said to be numerous. (Alarmingly so). It would be interesting to see the logs of the Secret Service.

  13. #14 Irene
    June 10, 2009

    Good catch on the cache. I just tried to wget it and got a forbidden error. My wget mojo sucks.

  14. #15 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    Wait a minute… it’s definitely not in my nature to ever pass up an opportunity to say something bad about Palin or Limbaugh or Bachmann — but what exactly have they done that you think made it more likely for someone to shoot up the Holocaust museum? I’m a little confused here…

  15. #16 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    James,

    There need not be a logic among the insane to blame baiting the insane into a particular act … of insanity.

    Our suspect in this case was a radical right wing libertarian anti-tax anti-federal government wack job who blamed all the country’s problems on African-Americans, Hispanics, and Jews. One theory going around now is that the wack-job’s link to the holocaust target comes from Obama’s visit to Israel/middle east and major address and Buchenwald.

    It actually does all make sense in a sick demented sort of way. These people … those of dark skin, non Protestant belief, eats French fries, etc. are those that Michele Bachmann wanted investigated, that she wanted to take up arms against, and so on.

  16. #17 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    The argument seems to be that because Republicans are angry, it makes it more likely for angry people to strike out? I think? I suppose that’s fine, but then you have to blame PETA too…

    I dunno, I mean, explain it to me like I didn’t know anything about Republicans, so I can get from A to B here. I just don’t quite get how “Republicans spew angry hate about gay people” translates to “Angry hateful guy shoots up Holocaust Museum”…. ?!?

  17. #18 Ben
    June 10, 2009

    Thanks for the cache version – don’t want to give this guy hits.

  18. #19 mk
    June 10, 2009

    @ James Sweet…

    This is just a taste:http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/3/27/153711/215

  19. #20 horace
    June 10, 2009

    I noticed that not only does the number shot fluctuates between 2 and 3, but the suspects age fluctuates between 88 and 89.

  20. #21 Irene
    June 10, 2009

    They seem to have upgraded the bandwidth on the site … it is up and running quite nicely now.

  21. #22 Andrew
    June 10, 2009

    How do you even get close to a building on the Mall with a “Long Gun”

  22. #23 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    I wrote #17 before I saw Greg’s #16. Okay, I guess I see where you are coming from… I still think it’s a bit of a stretch, but I see where you are coming from.

    I’ll tell you what though, looking at that guy’s website, dollars-to-doughnuts he hated McCain too, for being too moderate…! :D

  23. #25 Irene
    June 10, 2009

    Ben: Good point.

  24. #26 mk
    June 10, 2009

    @ James Sweet…

    Maybe. But you can also bet he LOVED him some Sarah.

  25. #27 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    @mk: Damn. Heh, Bachmann says so much shockingly crazy shit I apparently have not been keeping up with all of it.

  26. #28 marilove
    June 10, 2009

    My google fu is failing me at work right now, but I remember reading an on-going study during the Prop 8 stuff in November, in which they are trying to prove the connection of anti-gay rhetoric and legislature and hate crimes.

    The same could be said of any such hateful rhetoric, I’m sure.

  27. #29 Sissy Willis
    June 10, 2009

    Calm down. You are getting hysterical again. This monster has been a loony for decades and decades. Mainly anti-Semitic.

    It’s been fascinating through twitter, blogs and cable to watch the birthing of a “narrative” . . . Please stop and think before you jump on the nearest bandwagon. Thank you

  28. #30 mk
    June 10, 2009

    OK… I promise this is the last one from me. There are plenty more examples out there, easy to find.

    Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Bachmann and their ilk should be called out and mocked and shamed every chance you/we get.

  29. #31 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    @mk in #27: hahaha, yeah, probably :D

    I remain fascinated by how much conservatives love Palin. Hell, my wife’s uncle is one of ‘em. I just don’t get it… I understand how someone could be a McCain fan, I probably even understand how someone with a lot of hateful opinions could be a Limbaugh fan… But I don’t really understand how someone could be a Palin fan, even if they were bigoted and/or crazy. (shrug) I guess that’s the appeal, in some twisted way?

  30. #32 Irene
    June 10, 2009

    I understood it to be mainly sex appeal.

  31. #33 marilove
    June 10, 2009

    ” anti-gay rhetoric and legislature and hate crimes.”

    That should be increased hate crimes, since I’m sure hate crimes would exist even without the anti-gay bullshit, though to a much lesser degree I’d bet.

  32. #34 Drew
    June 10, 2009

    I’m skeptical. In the Tiller case, there was a much stronger direct focus to point to: O’Reily really did call Tiller, specifically, an executioner and all sorts of other things that basically gave him no humanity. But even in that case its never entirely fair to claim that someone was directly inciting an action that they themselves would strongly oppose. And I’m not even inclined to be particularly charitable to O’Reily’s sincerity to begin with. I think O’Reily should be deeply ashamed of his rhetoric and its lack of caveats, but I don’t think claiming that he directly incited Tiller’s killer is fully justified either. It’s not even clear whether Roeder gave a crap about what O’Reily thought to begin with: he was a hardcore anti-abortion zealot from way way back who didn’t seem to need much incitement.

    But in this further case, I don’t think there’s anything specific to point to, certainly not yet, that links any specific statements or targets to this guy going after the Holocaust museum. Especially on that specific issue, I’m pretty sure this dude would be LESS happy with many on the right for their more unqualified support of Israel than he is about Obama. There’s no question that this guy was a right wing nut, a birther, a believer in Obama as a secret Muslim, etc. But he was also a virulent Anti-Semite in a way I don’t think it would be fair to lay on nearly anyone in the Republican fold outside of Pat Buchanan, and then mostly only in the Nixon era. (Heck, the Reverend Wright still carries the day as far as goofus anti-semitism, recently complaining that “them jews” would never let him into the White House to see Obama).

    There may be a case to be made here. But if so, it’s a much more complicated and vague one than simply pointing to a bunch of Republican rabble-rousing rhetoric and then pinning every act of ideological violence on them.

  33. #35 Ben
    June 10, 2009

    mk– Exactly. I don’t think anyone expects prosecutions for fear-mongering and encouraging hatred. It would be grand for someone with half a brain and a sizable audience (i.e. ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN) to call it like it is (I don’t expect anything of the sort from Fox/WaPo/WSJ).

    Greg, you broke into the PZ zone the other day (SciBlogs most active), and you’re dominating the Ed zone today (SciBlogs politics lead stories)… tomorrow the world?

  34. #36 Aaron Luchko
    June 10, 2009

    Would you be willing to accept the same level of blame if someone shot up a military base saying the soldiers were all rapists?

    Yes people are responsible for the effects of their words and sometimes those words can inspire other people towards some very bad actions. But if you’re going to hold people responsible for actions of a 3rd party they obviously do not support it’s going to be pretty tough to say anything at all.

  35. #37 rob
    June 10, 2009

    mentioning teabaggers and republicans in the same sentence is an insult to teabaggers all over!

    heh.

  36. #38 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    Drew: He was an anti Semite who also happen to attempt to take members of the Federal Reserve hostage because of government interference in thigs like interest rates and stuff. He is a crazy, armed libertarian yahoo. Be skeptical, but also, keep your flack vest handy in case one of these guys decides he does not like you.

  37. #39 catgirl
    June 10, 2009

    Wow, I rate that guy’s website as 0.7 timecubes. The black background and yellow font really adds that extra touch of insanity.

  38. #40 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    Aaron, you are a moron. I have never contended that all soldiers (or even any, automatically) are rapists. And, I’ve had the exact opposite view … that rapists are actually redeemable if this crazy rape switch theory turns out to have merit (which it may not).

    Do you really see a parallel between the relatively thoughtful commentary we have here and Rush Limbaugh bouncing up and down at a Conservative Convention and Michel Bachmann calling for investigations of everyone she disagrees with? Seriously?

  39. #41 duh
    June 10, 2009

    Look, guys, when “important” people in politics and the media start calling American citizens “not real Americans”, it only gives reason for crazies like this to start shooting people.

  40. #42 Drew
    June 10, 2009

    Sure, but again, unless someone actually called for real armed insurrection (and there are some fringe characters on the right who have) I just don’t see how that can fairly be laid at the feet of someone like Sarah Palin as if there were some sort of reasonable line of cause and effect. Or even, as batty as she is, Bachmann’s hyperbolic “armed and dangerous” comment. As much as I oppose this sort of rhetoric, I also don’t want to veer off into the territory of claiming that people are responsible for acts they never themselves would want or endorse.

    I think a fairer tack would be to point out that pushing unqualified partisan hatred in general and the heated rhetoric that comes out of it creates an overall environment where fringe people feel fired up and hemmed in. Someone like Limbaugh makes our political climate uglier, nastier, and less humanized, and encouraging more and more of that sort of thinking does probably pay off into more people on the fringe doing nuttier and nuttier things.

    But I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they “incited” a specific attack like this or that they are anything but vaguely responsible for creating a far less civil civil society in which the end point extremes are a much shorter jump.

    I do, however, think this is dead-on though: the supposed “scandal” over the DHS briefing on violent right-wing extremists looks pretty silly now.

  41. #43 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    I agree fully with Drew’s comment. He said pretty much what I was trying to say, but much better :)

  42. #44 Rystefn
    June 10, 2009

    How are “All soldiers are rapists” and “rapists are redeemable if this crazy theory has merit” opposites? They’re different, but they are not opposites. They’re not even mutually exclusive. behold: “All soldiers are rapists, but they’re redeemable if this crazy theory has merit.” Easy.

    Also, that was spineless rhetoric on Aaron’s part. There’s no comparison. Piss-poor communication is a damned sight different than hate-filled rants calling people evil, conflating all of society’s ills with their beliefs, and calling out your throng of slavering, hate-filled, ranting minions to action.

  43. #45 Aaron Luchko
    June 10, 2009

    Greg,

    Sorry if I misinterpreted that part of the rape switch discussion, I only skimmed it. However, some of the oversimplification and misinterpretation was on purpose as that’s part of the standard you seem to have applied to McCain and Bachmann. This guy is an anti-semite and the Republicans are very strongly pro-Israel, now you can argue about their motives and those positions aren’t exactly opposite but I find it tough to lump a rabid anti-semite in too closely with the strong pro-Israeli crowd.

    I don’t claim you’re nearly as bad as Limbaugh and Bachmann though I can’t judge that well since I mostly just see the crazy bits that end up on your blog. I’m guessing that they have some saner arguments to make as well mixed in with the crazy. But the thing I’m not a fan of here is a lot of your commentary contains a lot of emotion and rhetoric. In this very post you write “Your chickens are coming home to roost, bitches”. I’m sorry but when people start using rhetoric like that I start getting very suspicious about the substance of the argument.

    I’m not saying you should blog like an academic paper but with the amount of rhetoric and negative labels you throw around it gives the impression that the emotion is driving the conclusions and I have a lot of trouble trusting arguments with an emotional base.

  44. #46 Tulse
    June 10, 2009

    Wait a minute… it’s definitely not in my nature to ever pass up an opportunity to say something bad about Palin or Limbaugh or Bachmann — but what exactly have they done that you think made it more likely for someone to shoot up the Holocaust museum?

    So much for Conservlam being an “ideology of peace”. When are all those allegedly moderate Conservlims going to denounce this kind of terrorism? When are we going to hear from the mullahs of the national Conservlic movement vigorously distancing themselves from these actions? Until they do, they are enabling this kind of fundamentalist terrorism, and should be held accountable just as much as those who carry out such heinous deeds. Unless the leaders of the American Conservlic community denounce these actions, they should be considered possible traitors.

    Right?

  45. #47 Bill James
    June 10, 2009

    …he apparently has been an anti government activist, anti-semite, anti-tax/fed activist, armed terrorist, and I suspect a teabagger and a Republican…

    So what we have here is an armed anti-semitic/government/tax/fed terrorizing Republican activist who dangles his testicles over the faces of his victims in wait for opportunity to drop forth the divine nuts of holy righteousness?

    Geezuss Greg! Try to be a little more careful with those euphemisms will ya. Somebody could lose an eye.

  46. #48 mk
    June 10, 2009

    For me it isn’t a matter of getting people to shut up or to change their minds. But the tactic of mocking, shaming, and humiliating the Palins and Limbaughs and Becks, I believe, will go a long way toward muting their idiocy.

    There are influence-able (is that a word?) folks out there. Some are right on the edge of violence and words–even by folks who would never really condone violent actions–can set them off. This isn’t the hatefilled preacher in a ramshackle building in the boonies. These people are popular, influential, talked about all the time, appear on TV all the time. Their opinions carry much greater weight.

    The other influence-able folks are the on-the-fencers. Let’s say a young new voter, just getting into politics. He hears about Palin or Bachmann and listens to a couple speeches and might think… “Hmmm, yeah, why are we electing a Socialist? Godammit!” I’d like that guy to occasionally hear a good righteous mocking of the ideas of these same politicians and talking heads. They are doing the country no good whatsoever. And are likely doing it great harm.

  47. #49 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    @Tulse: Um, yeah… I hate to have to defend conservatives here (no, I really REALLY hate doing it), but I challenge you to find me one example of a semi-mainstream (as in, as mainstream as Limbaugh or Bachmann) conservative politician/pundit saying something along the lines of, “Well, I condemn the von Brunn attack, but I also say that they should definitely not have a Holocaust Museum in Washington DC!”

    That would be a closer analogy to the reaction of far too many mullahs to, say, the Danish cartoon controversy. If somebody is doing something you disagree with, and they are killed for it, you are not allowed to say, “I’m sorry they were killed, but they really deserved it!”

    Now, regarding the Dr.Tiller murder, yeah, it’s easy to find a conservative saying, “I condemn the murder, but Dr. Tiller was still evil!” And for that, your analogy to the wishy-washy condemnation offered up by much of the Muslim community to things like embassy-burning is quite apt.

    In this case, I don’t think you’re going to get any von Brunn apologists on national TV, not even on Fox News…

  48. #50 Stephanie Z
    June 10, 2009

    And James, making the last murder all about the victim will have no effect on whether there’s a next one.

  49. #51 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    The guard, Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, had died.

  50. #52 Aaron Luchko
    June 10, 2009

    Rystefn,

    True it wasn’t a great comparison, I used it because it was the most recent controversial thing that came to mind.

  51. #53 Jason Thibeault
    June 10, 2009

    From John Cole at Balloon Juice, here’s some more crazy rhetoric written by von Brunn.

    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:niXSYG-nVO8J:www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2141655/posts+%E2%80%9CObama+is+missing%E2%80%9D+free+republic&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    It was taken down off Free Republic. Not sure when.

  52. #54 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    @StephanieZ: I was just saying Tulse’s analogy is not very apt to this case. (Though it is quite apt in the Dr. Tiller murder)

    Regarding the general connection between conservative punditry and this murder, I pretty much agree with Greg in #34. I still think it’s a tenuous connection, but I see where you all are coming from.

  53. #55 Tulse
    June 10, 2009

    I challenge you to find me one example of a semi-mainstream (as in, as mainstream as Limbaugh or Bachmann) conservative politician/pundit saying something along the lines of, “Well, I condemn the von Brunn attack, but I also say that they should definitely not have a Holocaust Museum in Washington DC!”

    Well, Pat Buchanan comes close, at least in terms of Holocaust denial. I have yet to hear any conservative commentator condemn the attack (although I haven’t see the TV recently).

  54. #56 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    Heh, okay, I’ll grant you Pat Buchanan :)

    I haven’t heard any liberal politicians condemn the attack yet either… although, I’ll grant you this much, I find plenty of liberal and moderate blogs that condemn the attack, and no conservative ones yet… so that’s pretty messed up.

    Who knows, maybe the Right will once again surprise me at their shocking wrongness… they’ve done it before, after all. Hell, they did it earlier in this thread, when mk pointed out the Bachmann “armed and dangerous” comments. Just when I think I know just how batshit crazy the GOP has gone in the last few years, they do something that proves I really had no idea…

  55. #57 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    The President condemned the attack.

  56. #58 James Sweet
    June 10, 2009

    Yeah, so far it looks like Obama, and Israel.

    So we’ll give it more time, but I have to say, the lack of any conservative-leaning blogs even mentioning the attack is a little disturbing. If at this time tomorrow there’s still no conservative pundits that have spoken out about the attack, I’ll concede and admit I was wrong to have questioned the motivational and rhetorical connection between von Brunn and “mainstream” US conservatives.

  57. #59 Woody Tanaka
    June 10, 2009

    “I noticed that not only does the number shot fluctuates between 2 and 3, but the suspects age fluctuates between 88 and 89.”

    He is 88, to turn 89 next month. His age may actually have had some meaning, in his twisted, crazy mind. Among the neo-Nazis, the number “88″ is special, as “H” is the eighth letter; thus “88″ as code for “Heil Hitler.”

  58. #60 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 10, 2009

    pushing unqualified partisan hatred in general and the heated rhetoric that comes out of it creates an overall environment where fringe people feel fired up

    Danton did it, until the guillotine got him. Robespierre took over and kept up the rhetoric until the National Razor took him too. And in the meantime, thousands died in the riots, burning and general mayhem.

  59. #61 Jason Thibeault
    June 10, 2009

    Tsu Dho Nimh: if I’m reading you right, the inciters should be tried for treason. I’m not disagreeing with this assessment, by any stretch of the imagination, but do you figure you’ll get very far with an administration seemingly willing to turn a blind eye to the concept of holding people accountable?

  60. #62 xavier
    June 10, 2009

    Woody Tanaka, you are of course a total conspiracy theorizer.

    …. but maybe this time you are right…

  61. #63 Paul
    June 10, 2009

    Drew: Sure, but again, unless someone actually called for real armed insurrection (and there are some fringe characters on the right who have) I just don’t see how that can fairly be laid at the feet of someone like Sarah Palin as if there were some sort of reasonable line of cause and effect.

    Why? It is good enough that Sarah Palin incited violence. Even if there was a line of cause and effect there would be little to do legally with it. But in the public rhetoric, when those individuals incite violence or have it brought out at their ralleys (as if they did not know) they should be held accountable and blamed. If there is no social sanction against this form of antisocial behavior then it will just continue where it is politically expedient.

  62. #64 xavier
    June 10, 2009

    Mr Totale: Would you prefer that people who disagree with you simply remain silent?

  63. #65 thom
    June 10, 2009

    Aaron: “This guy is an anti-semite and the Republicans are very strongly pro-Israel, now you can argue about their motives and those positions aren’t exactly opposite but I find it tough to lump a rabid anti-semite in too closely with the strong pro-Israeli crowd.”

    Why do we expect anything to make sense with totally insane people? I do not think it is reasonable to require that the connection between cause and effect be logical or not accepted.

  64. #66 Rob Jase
    June 10, 2009

    RE: 11.

    Andrew, most old people are mellow.

    Now get the fuck off my lawn!

  65. #67 Aaron Luchko
    June 10, 2009

    @Paul

    I agree that if someone took a shot at Obama during the election Palin likely would have had some moral responsibility for her rhetoric.

    But I don’t see a strong connection between her rhetoric and THIS incident.

    @thom

    That’s kind of my point. How much moral liability do you accept for what an insane person does with your words?

  66. #68 Stephanie Z
    June 10, 2009

    Aaron, how much responsibility is yours depends in part on how predictable the consequences were. There have been plenty of warnings as these statements were made, but they have not stopped. The fact that people choose to ignore those warnings absolves them of nothing.

  67. #69 Andrew
    June 10, 2009

    From NBC:

    “With hate groups on the rise, watchdog organizations are looking at the recession, anti-immigration and the election of the nation’s first black president as key factors. “

  68. #70 Ron Cauble
    June 10, 2009

    Goodby Greg, you are being an ass!

  69. #71 Wyatt
    June 10, 2009

    Ah, so, the White Supremies come out of the woodwork then, do they?

  70. #72 Monado
    June 11, 2009

    Well, hat, exactly, did the Oklahoma City daycare center and people getting their drivers’ licences do to deserve to be blown up by right-wing terrorists? A certain amount of nuttery is just random.

  71. #73 Ernest
    June 11, 2009

    DAVID LETTERMAN’S HATE, etc. !

    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Jewish prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and Jewish persons? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin’s continuing “crucifixion”!
    While David and Sandra are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!

  72. #74 Bill James
    June 11, 2009

    “With hate groups on the rise, watchdog organizations are looking at the recession, anti-immigration and the election of the nation’s first black president as key factors. “

    I wouldn’t agree that the number of hate groups has risen in the U.S. nor that membership within those groups has increased. I would agree that recession, uncontrolled immigration and an entitlement President has floated the boats of anxiety across the board and therein exists an increasing amount of potential. I would not surmise however, such potential realized to the significant benefit of any established group, rather a quick escalation to a national explosion of lethal violence within the general population and across all lines of distinction more likely. None would be spared and something as simple as a toilet paper shortage could trigger it. We are sitting on a powder keg.

    Moreover, it has not been adherents to variously labeled ‘hate’ groups that have managed to amp up the rhetoric and project a presence beyond that held traditionally, which has been minimal in recent decades. I see far more socially agitating and irresponsible spew emanating from prostituting television news rooms as they battle amongst political affiliations for market and mind share. Fox sets the standard, the rest try to compete.

    So James von Brunn – noted Holocaust Denier and Anti-Semite – walks into a Washington Holocaust Museum killing a guard while wounding another. A week ago Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad – an American converted to Islam – shot two young soldiers outside a recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, killing one. Presumably the motive was political and/or religious jihad.

    These two men had their reasons I suppose, it seems neither was part of a larger conspiracy or members of a specific group save a shared ideology. We might look at this as increasing levels of isolated incidents and nothing like we’ll see should any significant sector of American society outright fail. But this leads to the question of even that being necessary. Would perception be enough?

  73. #75 James Sweet
    June 11, 2009

    @Ernest: If what you are attempting to do here is use the Bible to form some kind of argument that criticism of Sarah Palin is responsible for anti-Semitism, you’re not going to get very far in this venue. Your conclusion would be unpopular, so it would need a solid premise and clever argument… and frankly, your premise is laughable and your argument fallacious. So, yeah… try somewhere else. Bible quoting at ScienceBlogs = FAIL.

  74. #76 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    I wouldn’t agree that the number of hate groups has risen in the U.S. nor that membership within those groups has increased.

    There is a homeland security report that says that this is true, referred to on the news last night (sorry, can’t give citation).

  75. #77 Andrew
    June 11, 2009

    Connection …

    From MSNBC:

    Distributor of white racist music, writing
    Todd Blodgett, a former Reagan White House aide who later worked with several extremist groups, met regularly with von Brunn in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    “Von Brunn is obsessed with Jewish people,” Blodgett said. “He had equal contempt for both Jews and blacks, but if he had to pick one group to wipe out, he’d always say it would be Jews.”

  76. #78 thom
    June 11, 2009

    Ernest, you say Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin

    Easy. Letterman is a comedian. Palin is a joke. Comedian, meet joke.

  77. #79 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    Citation: We haz it:

    http://tinyurl.com/l2ez29

    Last week, we released our annual hate group count in the latest edition of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report. The key finding was that the number of hate groups operating in the United States continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54% since 2000 — an increase fueled last year by immigration fears, a failing economy and the successful campaign of Barack Obama.

    This is not actually the report I heard about, but it is useful.

  78. #80 James Sweet
    June 11, 2009

    Eh, okay, I’m not making a judgment either way about whether hate groups have been on the rise… but citing the government citing SPLC comes with a mighty-sized asterisk:

    SLPC has been expanding their scope in terms of classifying hate groups. I happen to agree with their expanding criteria (e.g. adding anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council)… but the fact that the SLPC’s intelligence report is listing more hate groups does not necessarily mean that there are more hate groups. Those groups could have been there all along, and SLPC just got the balls to call them what they are.

    I don’t know as that counts for the whole effect. It could be that hate groups are on the rise anyway. I’m just sayin’, the number of groups listed in the SLPC intelligence report is not where I would get my numbers from…

  79. #81 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    Could be, one would have to actually read the report. But just to be clear: My earlier non-citation was not of Homeland Security citing the SLPC. It was homeland security’s own report, and in fact, it might even have been a secret report not yet release that has been talked about.

  80. #82 Robert
    June 11, 2009

    Every day a thousand “crazy people” kill a thousand other people. The chance of there being an apparent political motivation without there really being one is zero.

  81. #83 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    See update (above)

  82. #84 Bill James
    June 11, 2009

    I sat in on a meeting of our local subcommittee on community development as they prepared an annual report for the city council and therein the report was a line that said housing starts for the year ending was up 200%. This is a town of thirty thousand and damn hard to miss any development of significance, yet here was this bouquet of roses inserted into the report when all expectations was quite the opposite. So I asked the chairman just how many housing starts we had? Two. Two? Two. So the year before we had? One. One? One. Uh huh.

    The final report to the city council listed housing starts up 200% over the previous year which they accepted as the bright spot that it was and would cheerfully regurgitate that golden nugget on request. While the city is three hundred and fifty million in the hole coupled with unprecedented job loss, fear not humble citizen for housing starts are up two hundred fucking percent — and sunshine is right around the corner. Wow! Really?

    So we have a group of White Nationalists get into an internal pissing contest over single versus dual seedline Christian Identity and one guy splinters off with a PHPbb message board on a $5/month hosting account whilst dragging its three friends and the SPLC reports that hate groups increased 53% last year.

    Meanwhile over at the Department of Homeland Security they’ve reportedly thwarted several terrorist attempts thus saving America from untold carnage but unfortunately they can’t tell us about it or offer any evidence because is a secret and we’ll just have to take their word for it. But take heart good citizen for we have amassed the best team of report writers on the planet. Forests tremble in fear.

    This same DHS, so in tune with the pulse of America and the task at hand given resources allotted they need assemble a group of Science Fiction writers for threat creation and assessment prior to participation in budget hearings on the Hill. Talking points needed. Money at stake. And reality takes a holiday.