Respectful Insolence

Warning: Some of the links in this post go to hate sites. I include them because I think it’s important for people to see exactly what white supremacists say in their own words, if they are curious to do so and thus learn how low these people will go. However, if you’re at work you may not want to click on them.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have a major interest in World War II history and the Holocaust. Specifically, I’ve spent a fair amount of time writing about Holocaust denial. My interest in Holocaust denial derives from two sources. First, it’s disgust at the racism, Hitler apologia, and anti-Semitism that are always at the root of it, no matter how much Holocaust deniers try to deny them as the motivation for their denial. Scratch a Holocaust denier, and you will always–I repeat, alwaysfind an anti-Semite and very likely also either a fascist sympathizer or admirer of Hitler. Second, I’m interested in Holocaust denial in the context of skepticism. After all, Holocaust denial is, boiled down to its core, merely a very, very despicable form of woo, in which conspiracies to keep The Truth secret in order to protect The Prevailing Dogma run rampant. The parallels to “alternative medicine” and creationism are obvious.

That being said, one thing that’s happened as I’ve delved into Holocaust denial over the last ten years is that I’ve come face-to-face with some of the ugliest beliefs humans hold, so much so that at times it beggared the imagination that fellow humans could actually seriously hold such vile beliefs. It’s impossible to study Holocaust denial and avoid facing this, as Holocaust denial is so deeply entwined in so much of neo-Nazi and/or white supremacist belief systems. It’s also hard not to become aware of the white supremacist and fascist underworld that exists in the U.S. and Europe.

That’s why I’m not at all surprised about the ridiculously botched assassination plot against Barack Obama that was recently broken up. The only thing I’m surprised about is that there hasn’t been one before. As a black man who is likely to win the election and become the President of the United States in one week, Obama represents a profound threat to the mental midgets who hold to white supremacist philosophy. Consider this: If law-abiding people with racist views find Obama threatening, imagine how much more so white supremacists do. In fact, Obama is an even worse threat to them in that he is not simply a black man but is biracial, the product of “miscegenation,” something white supremacists detest almost above all else. For example, on the Stormfront discussion forum we find:

I have to disagree that McCain is no better. McCain may coddle the illegal hordes, but he is far better than an avowed Marxist mongrel that hates the white grandparents foolish enough to raise and educate this uppity savage.

McCain has also worked his entire life, even with his physical limitations, for something bigger than himself, even if I disagree with his politics. Obama has been a drain on society, ever since he started with a free ride through the American educational system, then living off the taxpayer as a “community activist” under the tutelage of white scum like William Ayers that thoroughly immersed him in Marxist ideology.

McCain does not play by the same rules as Obama, so I see an Obama victory, and the USA’s fate sealed for all time. It will be like a terminal patient that no longer has any medical care, or life support system in place, left to wither and die.

Too many whites take what political hucksters say at face value, without researching the deeds behind the words they want to hear.

Obama is clever enough to know that you tell the white masses what they want to here. They will rally, flock to, and embrace the bi-racial messiah.

These are the same imbeciles that want to believe the Muslim will toss out his Koran and give up on longstanding beliefs, principles, tenets laid out in Mohanmmed’s teachings, and embrace the infadel with open arms.

This is the attitude towards a Barack Obama victory that is prevalent in white nationalist circles. Is it any wonder that such rhetoric would inspire plots of violence?

Other white supremacists are hoping for an Obama victory because they believe it would bring people to their side:

PEARL, Miss. — They’re not exactly rooting for Barack Obama, but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if he becomes the first black president. His election, they say, would trigger a backlash — whites rising up, a revolution of sorts — that they think is long overdue.

He’d be a “visual aid,” says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to their view that whites have lost control of America. Obama’s election, says another, would jar whites into action, writing letters, handing out pamphlets rather than sitting around complaining.

Fortunately, as is usually the case, the two angry young men plotting a terrorist rampage of killing 88 black people and beheading 14 of them, after which they would kill Obama, were incompetent dolts who hadn’t yet formulated a viable plan to carry out their killings. But even incompetent dolts who are willing to die for their cause are dangerous, and what if the next bunch of plotters are not so incompetent? Indeed, like many I fear for Obama and suspect that, if elected, there will likely be attempts on his life.

One thing that this incident has done that’s useful is to educate Americans about a couple of very common white supremacist/nationalist code numbers, namely 14 and 88. The number 14 is considered nearly sacred among white power ranger circles because it refers to “14 Words” that encapsulate white power ranger values:

We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.

These words were derived from Volume 1, Chapter 8 of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf:

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe.

As for “88,” although there is some argument about its origin as white power ranger code, it’s widely believed that 8 stands for H, the eighth letter of the alphabet, and that therefore “88” stands for “HH,” which is short for “Heil Hitler.” It is also sometimes said that 88 also refers to the 88 Precepts of white nationalist David Lane. Whichever is closer to the truth, that’s why you’ll frequently find “88” embedded in the titles of neo-Nazi websites and blogs or appended to the pseudonyms of white supremacist bloggers or commenters. Consequently, when you see the use of 14 and 88 or combinations thereof, particularly in the context of political discussions involving race, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with white nationalists.

Unfortunately, this botched plot to go on a terrorist killing spree reveals just how deep antipathy towards Obama is in white power ranger circles. That antipathy is only likely to grow if Obama is elected President. I hope this plot is a wake-up call that, despite all the excitement among Obama supporters, we are not in a post-racial society, and there remain a small but significant fraction of the populace that finds the thought of a black President profoundly threatening.

Comments

  1. #1 Alan Kellogg
    October 28, 2008

    Orac,

    Keep your eyes on this story. It looks like our two buffoons are more blowhards and special flowers than actual racist pigs. From what I’ve heard they were either drunk or stoned, and thought they’d have a giggle by shining on the police. We are talking about people raised in a nerf house, learning nothing about consequences. Lo and behold the law is not interested in any foolishness, not in this political climate.

  2. #2 PalMD
    October 28, 2008

    From the news reports, they sound like a viable threat to their black neighbors. They never really expected to get to Obama—their main goal was murder at the high school, which they were quite capable of carrying out, even without stealing more guns.

  3. #3 Orac
    October 28, 2008

    Exactly. Yes, their chances of getting Obama were slim to nonexistent, but they sure as hell could have taken out dozens of black children at a school. After all, if a couple of disturbed losers could kill so many kids at Columbine, these guys, motivated by racial hatred, could have accomplished carnage as bad or worse.

    Moreover, they’re just examples of the sort of hate against Obama that’s being stoked by the white power ranger set.

  4. #4 Anony
    October 28, 2008

    You need not give the hate groups a link to improve their Google rankings. Go to TinyURL and put the hate group link into the box you see, and it will generate a new link. This new link is a “redirect” will send your readers there if they want to go, but without giving the benefit of Google links to the hatemongers.

  5. #5 James F
    October 28, 2008

    I’ve interviewed Holocaust survivors, and it still shocks me when I encounter people on line who are Holocaust revisionists bordering on outright Holocaust deniers. They are as insane as those who think that the Moon landing was a hoax, except, as you said, they are also steeped in hatred.

  6. #6 Orac
    October 28, 2008

    You need not give the hate groups a link to improve their Google rankings.

    I’m disappointed you think so little of my blog savvy and that I would not take measures to prevent the improvement of the Google rank for white power ranger websites. I used the rel=”nofollow” tag, which allows me to link to them without the link being counted towards their Google ranks.

  7. #7 charfles
    October 28, 2008

    The Guardian had a video interview posted today with the National Socialist Movement’s Steven Boswell:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/uselectionroadtrip/2008/oct/28/uselections-obama-racism

    It’s kinda scary.

  8. #8 Warren
    October 28, 2008

    What I don’t understand yet is why these two clowns haven’t been charged as domestic terrorists.

  9. #9 Ozymandias
    October 28, 2008

    Silly Warren — everyone knows that only brown furriners are terrorists!

    /sarcasm

  10. #10 Sigmund
    October 28, 2008

    Why is this incident being treated as a viable plot while the previous one, involving Shawn Robert Adolf, Tharin Gartrell and Nathan Johnson during the Democratic convention?

  11. #11 Bob
    October 28, 2008

    @Warren: Remember that in the US, white people can’t be terrorists unless they’re on the political left.

    Seriously though, I agree – since when is premeditated racially-motivated mass murder and political assassination not terrorism? The defense of “them’s jus’ good ol’ boys blowin’ off some steam, din’t mean no harm” is bullshit; these shiny-headed genetic embarrassments need a good long sit-down with the FBI, ATF, and domestic counter-terror interrogators. Give ‘em a fair trial and toss them in prison with the rest of their creepy meth-addled toothless kin.

  12. #12 Graculus
    October 28, 2008

    The question has never been whether or not there would be a plot to assassinate Obama if he is elected, the question is how many plots, and will any get through. There would be attempts even if he were palest of pale beige, because the Reich-wing has demonized everyone to the left of Attila. The melanin content is just icing on the hate-cake.

  13. #13 Warren
    October 28, 2008

    Actually, Bob, I was thinking more along the lines of tossing them into Guantanamo. Bet the neo-nazis would have to so some serious soul-searching if some of their own ended up in Cuba with a bunch of non-“supreme” people.

  14. #14 tim gueguen
    October 28, 2008

    But are there any US born citizens incarcerated at Gitmo?

  15. #15 Warren
    October 28, 2008

    tim: It’s hard to say for sure. Right now ity seems more like we export them to torture-friendly countries.

  16. #16 Todd
    October 28, 2008

    I always though the 88 represented the favored AA and AT gun of the Wehrmacht. As a WWII military history enthusiast, that’s the first thing that pops into my head when I see the number.

  17. #17 D. C. Sessions
    October 28, 2008

    their view that whites have lost control of America.

    In other words, it’s the other side of the same coin that’s driving the “culture apocalypse” that’s played such a large part of this election cycle. Not that that’s much of a surprise to many of us.

    The European Christian-right dominance of the United States for the last two centuries is ending; the blue-collar middle class that has represented that dominance for the last century is coming apart. Of course people are stressing out about it. What else do you think all of the silliness over “illegal immigration” is about? It sure ain’t over the jobs that the illegals are doing, because there aren’t any native takers for those jobs.

    Barack Obama is just the poor schlub who gets to collect arrows in his back as the poster child for the change.

    Now, let’s have a show of hands: who would have predicted, even ten years ago, that the United States would have a Black President before a woman or a Jew? Is the difference significant or just the way the breaks ran?

  18. #18 Michael
    October 28, 2008

    Kudos on nofollowing, unfortunately even many blog-savvy people aren’t aware enough of it (or it often slips people’s minds)

  19. #19 wolfwalker
    October 28, 2008

    That’s why I’m not at all surprised about the ridiculously botched assassination plot against Barack Obama that was recently broken up. The only thing I’m surprised about is that there hasn’t been one before.

    For all we know, there have been.

    I started writing a comment to this about four times, and wiped it each time because I couldn’t see any way to say what I was thinking and not have it misunderstood by the resident leftists. Sad irony, that — I hate far-right-wing hatemongers as much as Orac does, possibly more, but am scared to comment about this post for fear of far-left-wing hatemongers. You’d think I’d be used to it by now — as someone who is equally hostile to the far right and far left, this happens to me quite regularly. And yes, folks, before you ask: many of you do sound like extremist-left-wing hatemongers to me. If you don’t like that, then maybe it’s your own attitudes you should be re-examining. Not mine.

    Anyway.

    Assassination plots scare me, because they typically come from the worst dregs of society, they invariably fail, and they invariably cause a result other than the intended one. And the actual result is generally worse than the intended one. We’ve had presidents murdered before. We’ve even had one or two murdered by conspiracies, rather than crazy lone gunmen. The nation has survived all of them. What I don’t think it can survive is the polarization I’m seeing in the electorate. The Democratic Party is in the middle of stealing a national election via corrupt fundraising and corrupt voting, after which it will probably take full control of the government and institute policies that are guaranteed to be disastrous. None of that is exaggeration; none of it is hyperbole. It’s all documented fact. And here’s another fact: in times of social and economic turmoil, extremists gain strength because they offer a solution and the regular power structure does not. The more often and completely you write off all the opposition to Obama as stupid racism, when most of it isn’t, the more you convince the opposition that there is no room for peaceful coexistence, and violence is the only answer. And who has been saying that all along? Why, the extremists, of course. So who gets the support of those ordinary joes and janes? The rulers who have failed them, condemned them, and ignored them? Or the extremists who apparently agree with them?

    This pattern repeats over and over again, before almost every successful revolution and most of the failed ones too. It happened in Czarist Russia; it happened in revolutionary France; it happened in Weimar Germany. The New Left tried to make it happen here forty years ago, and failed only because the times weren’t bad enough; indeed, they weren’t bad at all. And to be blunt about it, I see it repeating yet again right now, as the extremist Left tricks the electorate into giving them power because they promise answers to the nation’s problems, and have successfully concealed the fact that the answers they promise are in fact political, social, and economic woo.

    So I’m scared by this plot. I’m scared that it happened. I’m equally scared by the reaction to it. I’m scared most of all that most people will take the wrong lesson from it, and act in ways that bring disaster closer. By all means, prosecute these two punks, convict them, lock them up and melt down the key. Feel free to make like Montresor and wall up the doorways to their cells if you like. They’re stupid scum and the world is better off without them.

    But please, for all our sakes, don’t try to overgeneralize from this incident. Most whites are not racist. Most of the opposition to Obama is because of his policies, not his skin color. Try listening to the opposition instead of automatically condemning them. You might be surprised by what you hear.

  20. #20 Graculus
    October 28, 2008

    Exhibit A: wolfwalker

    …who characterizes the conservative Obama/Democrats as “extreme left”, and plays the persecution card when he gets mocked for being dumber than a bag of wet mice.

  21. #21 Mike
    October 28, 2008

    Hey Orac:

    when I click on “Read more” from the RSS feed, I go to stormfront’s message board. I’m lucky I didn’t read this at work!

  22. #22 Badger3k
    October 29, 2008

    Damn – Wolfwalker – strawman much? Who said that everyone opposed to Obama is a racist? I didn’t see that, although I have seen the rallies which feature all-white crowds shouting hatred and violence. I have seen the interviews with those opposed to Obama because he is a N-word. Racism is alive and doing very well in some segments of our population, and these scum-sucking morons need to have the rocks lifted off their hiding holes and be exposed for the (often) traitorous and terroristic bastards that they are.

  23. #23 JThompson
    October 29, 2008

    @wolfwalker
    “. The Democratic Party is in the middle of stealing a national election via corrupt fundraising and corrupt voting, after which it will probably take full control of the government and institute policies that are guaranteed to be disastrous. None of that is exaggeration; none of it is hyperbole. It’s all documented fact.”

    Hrm. Any proof? Yes? No? Didn’t think so.
    Actually, when I saw the line about presidents being murdered by conspiracies, I immediately thought “Paranoid nutjob”. Then I decided that would be unfair and I’d give the benefit of the doubt. By the end of the post I’d again been swung towards the idea this was a paranoid rant.

    So far I’ve seen voter supression from the right, and virtually all the divisive hatemongering has been from their side. Unless of course you think Obama’s constant calls for civilized discourse are really just slang for “Kill whitey!” that he uses between terrorist fist bumps.

    I’ve also been a bit disturbed by the whole ‘elitist’ and ‘real america’ horseshit. This reeks of dehumanization.
    How long before the right drops the code words and just starts referring to anyone that isn’t a white, christian, straight male as “It”, do you think?

    Damnit, I always fall for concern trolling. :/

  24. #24 aaaaa
    October 29, 2008

    You realize something like this has happened before? Some meth addicts were hoping to kill him at the convention:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Barack_Obama_assassination_scare

  25. #25 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    The Democratic Party is in the middle of stealing a national election via corrupt fundraising and corrupt voting, after which it will probably take full control of the government and institute policies that are guaranteed to be disastrous. None of that is exaggeration; none of it is hyperbole. It’s all documented fact.

    You can not make a claim like that, call it documented fact, and not provide said documentation if you want to be taken seriously.

    Put up or shut up.

  26. #26 wolfwalker
    October 29, 2008

    jthompson: Any proof? Yes?

    Yes.

    There is a series of validation checks done on any credit card transaction, specifically and solely to guard against fraudulent transactions. Obama’s campaign website permits donations by credit card. Numerous experiments done in the last week or so demonstrate that whoever runs the site has intentionally turned off all verification functions, so there’s no verification done beyond validating the card number. People can donate any amount they want, even amounts far above the legal limits, simply by making multiple donations under different names. They can use throwaway debit cards like gift cards. They can donate using multiple card accounts. They can even donate using credit cards issued in other countries. That means that non-US-citizens can donate to the Obama campaign, a direct and major violation of campaign law.

    Note that these verification functions are on by default. You have to specifically choose to turn off each and every one of them. Obama did. There’s no legitimate reason to do that. It was done to facilitate illegal contributions, period.

    Democrat groups have been attempting to stuff voter rolls with phony records. Voter-registration groups like ACORN have dumped tens of thousands of “new voter” registrations on county clerks, then filed suit to prevent those registrations from being checked for validity. Ohio is considered a key battleground state; its entire power structure is Democrat-controlled, and its Secretary of State, who sets the rules for voting, is a big Obama donor. She recently changed the “early voting” rules to permit people to register and cast an early ballot on the same day, without proof of identity or state residency. She also deliberately turned off the mechanisms for checking new voter registrations against the Ohio DMV rolls or the federal Social Security database. Democrat groups promptly brought in busloads of people whose residency couldn’t be verified, to register and cast votes. A bunch of Obama supporters came into Ohio to work on the campaign, not intending to stay, and registered to vote in Ohio in violation of the residency requirement.

    And those are just the reports I consider trustworthy. There are a lot more claims I’ve seen that haven’t been verified.

  27. #27 BB
    October 29, 2008

    FWIW, Michele Obama was afraid of assassination early in the campaign. As a result, they met with the Secret Service, and either Obama had a detail earlier than other candidates or a larger detail than other candidates. According to MSNBC, that was back in May of 2007:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18474444/

    We don’t know how many plots have been quietly aborted due to law enforcement or ineptitude (or both), btw.

  28. #28 AntiquatedTory
    October 29, 2008

    The Democrats are “objectively” stealing the election so that they can impose “far left” policies?
    Please.
    The only case of funny business I know of is the Democratic Ohio Secretary of State’s playing about with early and absentee voting, which seems to me to be a misplaced and incompetent act of revenge against her Republican predecessor, who had also been widely accused of playing about with registrations.
    ACORN appears to be more badly managed than deliberately fraudulent, unless again, they are incompetent AND deliberately fraudulent (see article in The Economist, founded by that hard-core Maoist, John Stuart Mills). For that matter, most Republican voter elimination/intimidation is pretty reserved given the norm of US Presidential elections. Dodgy US Presidential elections are not unusual in US history. This is actually one of the cleaner ones.
    Obama’s not very pro-business and business in general seems to be one of his weak points. Dem trade policy, including the villification of “outsourcing,” is IMO entirely too protectivist and populist. You could also say that their health care plan is too expensive and not very realistic, and I lean more towards Oregon senator Wyden (D)’s bipartisan plan. But I don’t see how any person with any perspective at all could describe the mainstream of the Democratic party as “far left.” At the farthest (electable) left, even Bernie Sanders is much more a populist than any kind of serious socialist or even social democrat.

    Back on topic, if Obama is assassinated, we may have the editorial staff of the Washington Times to thank. They’ve been pushing hard to paint Obama as some sort of Trotskyite/Islamist/Chicago Machine mole, and the kind of people who swallow that line are also the kind of people who own rifles and know how to use them. This overlaps but is a much larger group of people than dedicated white supremacists, dominionists and/or neo-Nazis.

  29. #29 Keenacat
    October 29, 2008

    wolfwalker, your definition of “far left” or “left extremism” is simply ridiculous. Take this from the inhabitant of a country where we actually HAVE a political left that counts as such. Even our political right must seem pretty “left” to you (since they’re more central than right) and I guess you would fail to find words for our quite-far-left-yet-not-extremist party “Die Linke” (means “The Left”, no kidding) if your Democrats count as far left.
    Yet we live quite comfortably over here and the country has failed to wither away against all prophecy of doom.
    Get some perspective, for stratospheres sake.

  30. #30 Catherina
    October 29, 2008

    Keenacat,

    danke – habe ich auch schon gedacht ;)

  31. #31 karl
    October 29, 2008

    A couple points:

    1) Did you see a picture of one of those guys? Why do nazis always look like the genetically “inferior” people they want to eliminate from the gene pool? Do they ever look at themselves in the mirror and go “not a ruggedly handsome blond man”?

    2) Not to exonerate these guys, but I always wonder how many of these cases are just the FBI stumbling on some LARP group’s role playing adventure material?

  32. #32 mk
    October 29, 2008

    @wolfwalker…

    Neither of those links you provide show “proof” of the Democratic Party being in the middle of stealing a national election via corrupt fundraising and corrupt voting. Neither one.

    Thanks very much, however, for revealing yourself to be the very thing you claim to despise… a sad, irrational extremist. It has been duly noted.

  33. #33 Beppo
    October 29, 2008

    “Yet we live quite comfortably over here and the country has failed to wither away against all prophecy of doom.”

    If you’re not Turkish….

  34. #34 Keenacat
    October 29, 2008

    So turkish people are kept from using stuff like public transportation, public healthcare, the welfare system and the like? Sure?
    Well… I acknowledge the hardships of having an immigration background, but that’s not exclusive of germany. And the point is about the general welfare system, the general living conditions et cetera.
    Compared to most other countrys, our country keeps us citizens pretty supplied.
    (Besides, the low concentration of total nutjobs in the government is absolutely pleasing.)

  35. #35 chris y
    October 29, 2008

    Assassination plots scare me, because they typically come from the worst dregs of society, they invariably fail

    Also, this must come as a great relief to John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy, to name but three. Imagine what it would have been like if they’d actually been assassinated!

  36. #36 mk
    October 29, 2008

    So I’m scared by this plot. I’m scared that it happened. I’m equally scared by the reaction to it. I’m scared most of all that most people will take the wrong lesson from it, and act in ways that bring disaster closer.

    This is what happens when your capacity for reason and rational thinking is stunted. You become scared. Of everything!

  37. #37 DrFrank
    October 29, 2008

    Not to exonerate these guys, but I always wonder how many of these cases are just the FBI stumbling on some LARP group’s role playing adventure material?
    I have to say that I really can’t imagine anyone LARPing as a 10th level Neo-Nazi scumbag.

    Perhaps when a bunch of kids are arrested for a plot to kill King Ugnar, ruler of Pf’Tagn and the Eleven Arch-Magi of Cthulon then that might be a reasonable defense ;)

  38. #38 jayh
    October 29, 2008

    What I don’t understand yet is why these two clowns haven’t been charged as domestic terrorists.

    Probably because their too busy busting children who draw pictures of knives, write zombie stories or those like the MIT freshman who was ‘foolish’ enough to wear a jacket with flashing lights to the airport.

    not to mention, protecting us from Aquateen.

  39. #39 karl
    October 29, 2008

    ||I have to say that I really can’t imagine anyone LARPing as a 10th level Neo-Nazi scumbag.||

    I think back to my youth playing Top Secret (a fine TSR role playing game) and wonder what would happen if some of my role playing material fell into the hands of the RCMP.

    There was the famous case of the FBI seizing Steve Jackson Games material. Another one where the FBI came down like a ton of bricks on a RPG company was Tri Tac Games:

    http://members.aol.com/tritacgames/FBI_Raid.htm

    A coworker once did a Doom level simulating our office and of course the object was to kill the managers and C-level types. What if that fell into law enforcement hands? (My coworker would have never hurt a fly.)

    To wit, where does a kind of “fantasy role playing in extremely poor taste” leave off and “planing an actual crime” begin? While I’m sure the wisdom of the court system can figure it out in the end, I dunno about the cops.

  40. #40 Natalie
    October 29, 2008

    Wolfwalker:

    The first link you provided, about campaign contributions, says the following in the third paragraph:

    The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

    As well as:

    Sen. John McCain’s campaign has also had questionable donations slip through.

    I’m utterly unconvinced by this evidence.

    The ACORN issue is a complete non-starter. First of all, you are (like many conservative pundits have been doing), conflating voter fraud and voter registration fraud. This might not seem like a big difference, but it is. Voter registration fraud is an incredibly minor issue (I believe it’s even a misdemeanor in most states), and while all voter fraud starts with registration fraud, not all registration fraud ends with voter fraud.

    The fraud occuring in the ACORN cases is be perpetrated against ACORN by their employees. Some employees have been too lazy to actually do their jobs, and turn in fradulent registrations. ACORN has fired and turned in the employees they have caught doing this.

    Secondly, in many states ACORN is legally required to turn in any voter regsitration cards they collect. They cannot throw any of them away. In these states, ACORN employees have actually flagged the questionable registrations to ease the job of electoral workers.

    Lastly, there is no suggestion that anyone at ACORN is planning on engaging in actual voter fraud. In order to do so, employees would have to be submitting both phony registrations, and lining up duplicate voters or having people vote where they shouldn’t. I have yet to see any law enforcement agency or election official suggest that this is happening or going to happen. In fact, the prosecutor for the state of Washington (which prosecuted several employees in 2007), specifically stated that

    the defendants, who were paid employees and supervisors of ACORN, concocted the scheme as an easy way to get paid, not as an attempt to influence the outcome of elections.

    (see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003806904_webvotefraud26m.html)

    To sum up, you are either being deliberately dishonest, or you have been disturbingly credulous. Both of these issues you claim as proof that the Democrats are trying to steal the election are rather benign. And neither explain why Obama has been polling consistently well across the country, unless you think that all of the major polling organizations are committing fraud, too.

  41. #41 Natalie
    October 29, 2008

    To clarify: when I say “I’m utterly unconvinced by this evidence,” I mean that I don’t find wolfwalker’s evidence of campaign finance fraud convincing.

  42. #42 tdhowe
    October 29, 2008

    Orac, So I find it funny that you mention Holocaust denial and alternative medicine in the same sentence. On Law and Order: SVU last night, the program dealt with AIDS/HIV denial. Near the end they compared AIDS denial to Holocaust denial.

  43. #43 teej
    October 29, 2008

    Orac – have you read Dave Sim’s Judenhass? It’s a stunning graphic novel about anti-Semitism through history and the Holocaust. It is shorter, but no less powerful, than Spiegelman’s “Maus”. I highly recommend it.

    I picked it up at Dreamhaven in Minneapolis this weekend and read it that night. It hit me hard enough that my wife made me watch a Miyazaki movie before I went to bed so that I could sleep.

  44. #44 mh
    October 29, 2008

    I’m with Keenacat on this one. The US doesn’t really have a left, let alone a far left. What they have is a right, and a kinda-central-but-a-more-right-than-left. So all this talk of far-left extremists is amusing, to say the least.

  45. #45 jayh
    October 29, 2008

    where does a kind of “fantasy role playing in extremely poor taste” leave off and “planing an actual crime” begin? While I’m sure the wisdom of the court system can figure it out in the end, I dunno about the cops.

    A zombie story gets kid arrested on terrorism:

    http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=2989614

    The story took place at a school. NO MENTION of any particular school or individuals.

    The scariest thing is this statement by the cop:

    “Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky,” said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

    Posess a scary story… go to jail.

  46. #46 KTESIBIOS
    October 29, 2008

    I always though the 88 represented the favored AA and AT gun of the Wehrmacht. As a WWII military history enthusiast, that’s the first thing that pops into my head when I see the number.

    What pops into my mind at that number is….

    Ham radio.

    Back in the days of landline telegraphy, operators cooked up sets of numerical codes for common phrases to save the time of tapping them out at length in Morse code. Radiotelegraphers inherited these and they became popular among amateur operators.

    “73”, for example, stood for “best wishes”, and there used to be a magazine for hams titled “73”. “88” meant “love and kisses”.

  47. #47 wolfwalker
    October 29, 2008

    Natalie said: I’m utterly unconvinced by this evidence.

    I’m not surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised. True Believers will always find a reason to ignore evidence that shows their Belief is built on air. I’ve been watching creationists do it for fifteen years. Orac has thoroughly and skillfully documented how far woo-addicts will go to explain away the failures of their chosen woo. Your reaction here is no different.

    As you point out, the McCain campaign is also getting phony donations. The difference is that McCain is getting them despite having all the automatic safeguards turned on, as well as whatever additional safety checks are in place within his campaign. Checking those donations for validity is obviously a major job, one that takes a lot of time and energy. So why would Obama remove one of the available verification method — and the one he doesn’t have to pay for, at that? The obvious answer, indeed the only answer that makes any sense, is that he doesn’t want to trap the phony donations.

    Chris, if you had read carefully before replying, you might have noticed that I specified assassination conspiracies. It takes at least two to make a conspiracy. Both Kennedys and Martin Luther King were victims of lone gunmen, not conspiracies.

    Keenacat: The fact that you would call Obama a fascist and Stalin a reactionary doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference to me. I’m an American and I work by the American political scale … and frankly, speaking as an American with some sense of both American and European history, I don’t want my country to become anything like Europe. Neither politically, nor socially, nor economically. In all three categories Europe is a disaster area.

  48. #48 Azkyroth
    October 30, 2008

    True Believers will always find a reason to ignore evidence that shows their Belief is built on air.

    Project much?

  49. #49 Davis
    October 30, 2008

    True Believers will always find a reason to ignore evidence that shows their Belief is built on air.

    Hey wolfie, what sort of evidence would convince you that you’re wrong?

  50. #50 Andrew Dodds
    October 30, 2008

    Wolfwalker –

    Have you ever actually *been* to Europe?

    I’m British, lived in the US for 3 months for a summer (as well as a 2 week fly-drive holiday), spent a week living with a French family, been on assorted orchestra tours to France and Spain, holidays to Turkey and Greece.. and the major observation is that it’s all pretty much the same; you have to look pretty hard for the differences. Your country IS very similar to Europe.

  51. #51 Keenacat
    October 30, 2008

    wolfwalker:
    Dear, you are really, REALLY in dire need of some perspective. Obama would be a close-to-central-conservative, not a “fascist”. And I will not say anything about the plain dumb assumption that anyone who does not consider your Democrats “far left” somehow admires or belittles Stalin. For you, democrats, socialists, communists etc. seem to be all the same.
    Hint: They’re not.

    Andrew: I don’t think he has been, but anyways, what he says:
    >>True Believers will always find a reason to ignore evidence that shows their Belief is built on air.<<
    In this case, he is certainly true.
    Greets from one “disaster area” to the other, btw. I admire Britain, it’s a beautiful country.

  52. #52 Orac
    October 30, 2008

    While I agree that wolfwalker went into tinfoil hat territory with his “Obama’s going to buy and steal the election” thing, if there’s one thing that irritates the hell out of me, it’s all the sanctimonious Europeans (like Bora, for instance, whom I’ve taken to task for this attitude many, many times in the past) who keep telling us that the U.S. political system is so conservative, and that Obama would be a centrist conservative in Europe.

    Guess what? In the context of an American election and American politics, I don’t give a rat’s ass what’s considered “conservative” or “liberal” in Europe. I really don’t. And I’m really sick of Europeans telling us how “far right” (read: fascist) we are. It’s arrogant and condescending (not to mention irrelevant as well), as though Europeans have The One True Definition of Right and Left and we poor deluded Americans have corrupted their oh-so=perfect definitions. Yes, yes, we know. Politically you view Americans as fascistic cretins who are so far to the “right” that we don’t know left. Piss off.

  53. #53 Jud
    October 30, 2008

    Hmm, a chance to aggravate two people in one reasonable comment – can’t pass that up.

    Wolfwalker wrote: Ohio is considered a key battleground state; its entire power structure is Democrat-controlled, and its Secretary of State, who sets the rules for voting, is a big Obama donor. She recently changed the “early voting” rules to permit people to register and cast an early ballot on the same day….

    Bzzt! Wrong, thanks for playing. The law was changed by the Ohio legislature prior to the 2006 elections. You could look it up. (Or do you stop your research at the point where it fits your preconceptions?)

    Orac – If the most common treatment modality for a particular type of cancer would differ between the U.S. and a European country, should your reaction be to tell European doctors to “piss off,” or should it be to research the basis for the difference and decide whether you might learn anything from it that could benefit your patients? Analogously (and yes, of course politics is considerably less straightforward than medicine), shouldn’t we look at some of the differences between U.S. politics and European politics and see whether we can learn something beneficial? National health care and less of a tendency toward foreign military entanglements are two European examples I can think of that might merit serious consideration on our part.

  54. #54 Natalie
    October 30, 2008

    Wolfwalker – I provide actual citations for my assertions, while you do not, and I’m the true believer? Sure…

    You say:

    The obvious answer, indeed the only answer that makes any sense, is that he doesn’t want to trap the phony donations.

    I can think of another answer that makes as much sense: requiring people to jump through numerous hoops to donate reduces the number of small donations. Maybe the reason the Obama campaign is making so much money of off donations under $100 is because they’ve made it very easy to donate.

    I note that you haven’t retracted or defended your claims of voter fraud.

  55. #55 wolfwalker
    October 30, 2008

    Davis: Some solid evidence against me would be a good start. Jud tried for some, but fell short. I’m a computer programmer; I know that things always go wrong, with any project. Those who ignore the warnings of potential problems and instead choose to recline comfortably amid the mists of confident ignorance simply ensure that more things will go wrong, and more seriously wrong. The best time to solve problems is before they become problems, not after. That’s why you check voter registrations before allowing them to vote; that’s why you verify credit card transactions before actually accepting the money.

    Jud: Please consult Ohio Revised Code sections 3503.01 and 3503.06. No person can vote in an Ohio election unless they registered to vote at least thirty days prior. Brunner was allowing people to register and vote on the same day, a blatant violation of the law as written. Even if you accept her sophistry that they haven’t actually voted until the ballots are counted on Election Day, you still can’t deny that she was accepting ballots from people who had not had their registration information verified. Connect that with her refusal to enforce the law regarding verification of registrations, and it’s obvious that illegal ballots were cast in Ohio, and will be included in the vote count next week. That’s voter fraud.

    Natalie: you display your lack of understanding. The transaction-verification process is transparent to the donor. It’s just as easy to contribute whether the automated safeguards are active or not. As for the voter fraud issue: Conspiracy to commit a crime is itself a crime. Arguing that proven cases of voter registration fraud somehow fail to indicate an intention to commit vote fraud is like arguing that creating a program which authorizes illegal wiretapping of American citizens somehow fails to indicate an intention to place actual illegal wiretaps.

    Oh, and Andrew: yes, I have. Like the saying goes: nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

  56. #56 Jud
    October 30, 2008

    Joe the wolfwalker wrote: Jud: Please consult Ohio Revised Code sections 3503.01 and 3503.06. No person can vote in an Ohio election unless they registered to vote at least thirty days prior. Brunner was allowing people to register and vote on the same day, a blatant violation of the law as written. Even if you accept her sophistry that they haven’t actually voted until the ballots are counted on Election Day, you still can’t deny that she was accepting ballots from people who had not had their registration information verified. Connect that with her refusal to enforce the law regarding verification of registrations, and it’s obvious that illegal ballots were cast in Ohio, and will be included in the vote count next week. That’s voter fraud.

    That argument didn’t seem to impress the Ohio Supreme Court, which upheld the Secy of State’s decision against GOP challenge.

    An Ohio county election board that agreed with your contention was told of the error of its ways in no uncertain terms by a federal judge:

    “A more troubling aspect of this case, and the reasons why this court is considering a TRO [temporary restraining order requiring the Board to comply with the Secy of State’s interpretation of the law] is because the interpretation of the Madison County Board of Elections not only violates Ohio law, but conflicts with federal law, and additionally has potential constitutional problems with the right to vote.”

    So unless you want to contend that Ohio law, federal law, and the Constitution all require voter fraud, or that the Ohio Secy of State, state Supreme Court, and the federal courts are joined in some grand conspiracy, I think you’ll have to admit you were wrong on this one.

  57. #57 Flex
    October 30, 2008

    Wolfwalker howled, “Arguing that proven cases of voter registration fraud somehow fail to indicate an intention to commit vote fraud is like arguing that creating a program which authorizes illegal wiretapping of American citizens somehow fails to indicate an intention to place actual illegal wiretaps.”

    Wow. Not even close bucko.

    Here, let me restate your analogy in a different, more accurate, fashion. Arguing that the ACORN voter registration fraud is an intent to commit voter fraud is like arguing that a policeman who is disciplined for placing an illegal wiretap is an intent by the police to legalize wiretapping.

    ACORN catches and fires people who attempt to commit voter registration fraud. Just like a policechief should do to a policeman who places an illegal wiretap.

    Do you have any knowledge of what it would take to organize sytematic voter fraud without being in charge of the elections? In order to swing a close vote of even a small municipality you would need to:

    1: Either find a way to identify people on the rolls who are not going to vote, or find a way to register hundreds of voters without anyone realizing it. And my experiance with the clerks is that they are pretty well aware of about how many voters are supposed to be in a municipality based on population. Then…

    2. Have hundreds of fraudulent voters show up at the polls, and find a way to guarentee that none of them would speak about it.

    That would take a tremendous amount of time and money just in order to affect the outcome in even a small municipality.

    Historically, voter fraud has been limited to the elected officals who are corrupt. Why? Simply because far fewer people need to be involved, and the ballots can be put into the vote count in multiple places in the chain. At times a single corrupt clerk could have the ability to alter the result of an election.

    States and municipalities recognize the problem with potential corrupt officals and there are safeguards put in place to stop this form of voter fraud from happening.

    But an outside group, without help from inside the clerk’s office, being able to commit widescale voter fraud without being caught is only barely concievable.

    Finally, there is a distinction between filling out a ballot and having the vote counted on election day. I’ve only dealt with a few Michigan municipalies, but I have certainly known cases where people registered at the 30 day deadline, and then filled out an absentee ballot before the election. Absentee ballots are locked up until the election and when they are run through the machine. There are challengers present in case there is a question on any ballot. Those challengers, just like at the polls, cannot be elected officals or anyone on the ballot.

    Now you didn’t provide any information about how many people in Ohio registered and filled out a ballot on the same day. How many did? Got a cite?

    I’d hazard a guess that the number of people who registered and filled out an absentee ballot on the same day in Ohio is relatively small. Further, I know that any Ohio clerks who discover that the registration was fraudulent before the election will destroy the ballot and the privacy envelope without opening it.

    Knowing the process as well as I do, I don’t see any problem with clerks allowing people to register and fill out a ballot on the same day. Provided they register before the 30-day limit on registration required by law in order to give the clerks an oppurtunity to verify their registration is valid.

    Filling out a ballot is not voting. I’ve helped test voting machines before elections, and to verify the machine is operating properly you have to manually fill out a couple hundred ballots and run them through every machine. Not a single one of those ballots was a vote, or was counted as a vote.

    The vote occurs on election day, not on the day the ballot was filled out.

  58. #58 Interrobang
    October 30, 2008

    Uh, Orac, do you know the derivations of “right” and “left” as they apply to politics? The terms were invented in France…

    I’m not European, and you lot are still collectively far right (not fascist, but you’ve historically had strong fascist influences — Henry Ford, most of the people implicated in the Business Plot, and General Willoughby to name some) as far as I’m concerned. BUT I’m one of these weirdos who sees the political spectrum as being something that doesn’t change country to country, just that the relative “leftwardness” or “rightwardness” of a position might change from one country to another. Frankly, I think when discussing comparative politics, it’s pretty important to have a metric that doesn’t fucking move. When you live (or come from) outside the US, it’s all comparative politics; Americans’ ability to talk about the US in isolation is just privilege.

  59. #59 Natalie
    October 30, 2008

    The transaction-verification process is transparent to the donor. It’s just as easy to contribute whether the automated safeguards are active or not.

    They’re transparent until they won’t let you donate do to typos, improperly entered records, and so on.

    As for the voter fraud issue: Conspiracy to commit a crime is itself a crime.

    I never argued that it wasn’t a crime. The point is that ACORN, the organization, is not committing voter registration fraud. Some of its employees are. There’s a pretty big difference there.

    Arguing that proven cases of voter registration fraud somehow fail to indicate an intention to commit vote fraud is like arguing that creating a program which authorizes illegal wiretapping of American citizens somehow fails to indicate an intention to place actual illegal wiretaps.

    You are assuming that the only benefit to fradulently registering people to vote is to vote fradulently. As I explained, and as you would have been able to figure out by reading any news stories about the ACORN manufactrovery, in this case there is a reason for ACORN employees to register fradulent voters other than actual voter fraud. They want to get paid without doing work.

    Imagine a 15 year old who secure himself a phony driver’s license claiming that he is 18. Does he want to illegally drive a car, or illegally buy cigarettes and lottery tickets? You’re assuming that only one is possible, which is obviously false.

    And you still haven’t provided any evidence that ACORN, the organization, has intentionally committed fraud. I won’t be holding my breath.

  60. #60 Davis
    October 30, 2008

    Some solid evidence against me would be a good start.

    You’re asking for evidence to support a negative result? (The negative result here being no actual voting fraud resulting from voter registration fraud.) Ay caramba, you really don’t understand burden of proof, do you?

  61. #61 khan
    October 30, 2008

    I live in Ohio and I voted last Friday.

    The workers were very competent and patient.

    One person ahead of me asked what would prevent him from voting again on election day. The worker explained in great detail how he would show up on the voter list as absentee ballot and even if he insisted there was a mistake he would be allowed as a provisional voter which would be compared to the database.

  62. #62 wesele
    October 30, 2008

    Seriously though, I agree – since when is premeditated racially-motivated mass murder and political assassination not terrorism? The defense of “them’s jus’ good ol’ boys blowin’ off some steam, din’t mean no harm” is bullshit; these shiny-headed genetic embarrassments need a good long sit-down with the FBI, ATF, and domestic counter-terror interrogators. Give ‘em a fair trial and toss them in prison with the rest of their creepy meth-addled toothless kin.

  63. #63 mk
    October 30, 2008

    these shiny-headed genetic embarrassments

    *snarf*! You owe me a computer monitor! Heh-heh! ;^}

  64. #64 Mike Crichton
    October 31, 2008

    “Scratch a Holocaust denier, and you will always–I repeat, always–find an anti-Semite ”

    I would dispute that ‘always’. For example, the science fiction writer James P Hogan doesn’t seem to be anti-semitic, just a habitual contrarian who’s fallen for a line of bullshit. I’ll agree that most deniers are bigots, though.

  65. #65 Catherina
    October 31, 2008

    politically, nor socially, nor economically. In all three categories Europe is a disaster area.

    Look around, scratches her head: “it *is*?!”

    An American friend of mine for example lives in a small European country where she got 18 months of paid maternity leave – the country has about 9 million inhabitants maintaining a flourishing export (think IKEA, H&M, Volvo…) and tourism industry, it has a third of the US teenage pregnancy rate because it does not support an “ignorance only” sex education programme, it has a third of the US infant death rate, because everyone has access to high quality health care.

    I am currently living in the UK and cannot see the disaster you are talking about – my children (as immigrants if you so wish) go to excellent free schools, get free health care, and the economy is going strong enough to support the nice Polish young woman who is serving me my sandwich at lunch AND to have given me a job in academia when Germany was still thinking about which universities to pile their funding on. As long as you do not need a decent plumber (take it from one who is without hot water at the moment) you can live here very well.

    Don’t see Germany crumbling either, was in Belgium twice this year and it is still standing…

    Where is the downfall?

  66. #66 TTT
    October 31, 2008

    Add me to the list of those tired of Europeans trying to convince Americans that American political figures aren’t what they actually are. Obama would be a conservative in Belgium? And Mini-Me would be a giant in Liliput.

    Only smug Euro-provincialism is behind the claim that they have some unique insight into what these terms “really” mean because, well, because that’s what it means where they live, so there! I guess Americans should also call elevators “lifts” and bathrooms “loos” and drive on the left side of the road and not sell pizza by the slice either, because Europe is, um, better or something.

    As SNL said, “Welcome ta’ All Things Scottish! If it’s nae Scottish, IT’S CRAP!!!”

  67. #67 wolfwalker
    November 1, 2008

    Flex: both your conditions are easily met, and in fact have already been met in this election. ACORN does the first as a matter of course, and the Ohio Secretary of State enabled the second by refusing to verify voter registrations. A number of cities and towns within the US are currently known to have more registered voters on their rolls than they have residents of voting age. Not small towns either — we’re talking big cities like Indianapolis.

    (I decline to argue with those who insist that an organization being investigated in fifteen states for massive voter-registration fraud, after turning in tens of thousands of falsified registrations to county election boards, is somehow the victim of a few corrupt employees.)

    Meanwhile, from Boston comes this interesting tidbit: Obama’s aunt is living there as an illegal alien. Her application for political asylum was refused four years ago. There’s a standing deportation order for her, which she has ignored. But she made multiple contributions to Obama’s campaign, totaling $260. Alas, it just so happens that foreign nationals are prohibited by law from donating to any US federal candidate’s election campaign.

    So we have at least one verified case in which multiple donations to the Obama campaign from a foreign national were not rejected. We also have a number of cases where donations from entirely fictitious individuals were not rejected. And at least one case where a real individual was used as cover for fraudulent donations. (To be fair, that fraud was detected and the charges refunded … but it was a remarkably stupid attempt at faked contribution, and it still raises the question of how many slightly smarter attempts have succeeded.) All this first broke over a week ago, yet the campaign has still not instituted any additional verification. So much for the campaign’s internal checks on contributions.

    Fortunately for Aunti, however, the racist, nativist, immigrant-hating Republican in the White House is historically uninterested in enforcing such deportation orders. And as soon as this one came to light, he issued an order that effectively stops all deportations until after the election.

  68. #68 Orac
    November 1, 2008

    Add me to the list of those tired of Europeans trying to convince Americans that American political figures aren’t what they actually are. Obama would be a conservative in Belgium? And Mini-Me would be a giant in Liliput.

    Only smug Euro-provincialism is behind the claim that they have some unique insight into what these terms “really” mean because, well, because that’s what it means where they live, so there! I guess Americans should also call elevators “lifts” and bathrooms “loos” and drive on the left side of the road and not sell pizza by the slice either, because Europe is, um, better or something.

    There’s no “um” about it. The subtext of every one of those complaints is the implication Europe is so superior to the U.S. and that the conventions in the U.S. for determining “liberal” and “conservative” are therefore hopelessly wrong, corruptions of The One True Way (not coincidentally, a European way). The arrogance is astounding. I used to stay quiet when I heard such condescending blather, but these days it’s far more likely to provoke some not-so-Respectful Insolence.

  69. #69 Orac
    November 1, 2008

    Orac – If the most common treatment modality for a particular type of cancer would differ between the U.S. and a European country, should your reaction be to tell European doctors to “piss off,” or should it be to research the basis for the difference and decide whether you might learn anything from it that could benefit your patients?

    It depends. If it’s just a question of definition of terms and European doctors condescendingly promoted their definitions as being so superior, without particularly good evidence that they are, while at the same time clearly denigrating American definitions, then, yes, I probably would tell them to piss off.

    Analogously (and yes, of course politics is considerably less straightforward than medicine),

    And that’s why your analogy is very bad. Politics is not medicine. For one thing, it’s almost all about values more than evidence, and that’s true in Europe as well. Sometimes we decide that we will tolerate the consequences of certain things because we value the ideal so much. For example, I value free speech to the point where I consider most hate speech statutes in Europe to be unholy affronts on free speech. I’m perfectly willing to accept that the price of that is more hate speech in the U.S. Europeans disagree and are willing to sharply punish some forms of hate speech. Which one is “better” than the other?

    Shouldn’t we look at some of the differences between U.S. politics and European politics and see whether we can learn something beneficial? National health care and less of a tendency toward foreign military entanglements are two European examples I can think of that might merit serious consideration on our part.

    Straw man argument. I never said we shouldn’t.

    As for avoiding foreign military entanglements, that was an American value,right from George Washington’s farewell address warning the nation against permanent alliances and involvement in foreign wars. Indeed, it was a desire on the part of the U.S. not to get sucked into Europe’s endless wars at the time that fought with the other impulse to choose sides. In any case, the principle of avoiding excessive entanglement in the affairs of other nations has been a strong force in American politics right from the beginning, but after World War II we let it slip away. Perhaps it’s time that we brought it back.

  70. #70 Badger3k
    November 1, 2008

    I find it amusing that wolfwalker uses Redstate as an example of an unbiased “news” source – sorry, I can’t avoid using scare quotes around anything from Redstate. Perhaps if a non-biased and reality-based source was cited it might get more respect and more traction. Using Redstate for political rumors is like using Little Green Footballs for immigration statistics, or the Discovery Institute for anything scientific.

  71. #71 Orac
    November 1, 2008

    Or Daily Kos for unbiased information on George Bush.

  72. #72 Shay
    November 1, 2008

    Yes, well, Catherine…your friend in Sweden got 18 months maternity leave because the government (there and in several other Northern European countries) has resorted to bribing women to have babies because of the plummeting birth rate.

    (and don’t forget how much the average Swede pays in taxes to fund these benefits).

  73. #73 Catherina
    November 2, 2008

    Shay,

    and that is bad how? Sure, the Swedes are paying a lot of taxes, however, they get a lot of benefits, too (excellent child care at a nominal price for example, good and uniform access to health care). Contrary to the Germans, who pay women to have children and then make it impossible for them to return to the work force, the Swedish system is family and work friendly (and productive, I think I mentioned it). I fail to see the disaster that was mentioned above.

  74. #74 SLC
    November 2, 2008

    Re Wolfwalker

    Just for the information of anyone still following this thread, follow the link below to a thread on Ed Braytons’ blog where he eviscerates the phony charges against ACORN.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/10/the_incredible_shrinking_acorn.php#more

    Note that when the Rethuglican goons are confronted with a demand that they produce the goods, they fall back in retreat.

  75. #75 Natalie
    November 3, 2008

    I decline to argue with those who insist that an organization being investigated in fifteen states for massive voter-registration fraud, after turning in tens of thousands of falsified registrations to county election boards, is somehow the victim of a few corrupt employees.

    Shorter wolfwalker: I don’t have an argument, so I’ll pretend to take the high road. Cute.

  76. #76 Flex
    November 3, 2008

    Wolfwalker, without providing any referances, claimed that, “She [The Ohio Secretary of State] also deliberately turned off the mechanisms for checking new voter registrations against the Ohio DMV rolls or the federal Social Security database.”

    When in fact, from http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081010/NEWS0106/810100423/1055/NEWS,

    The National Voter Registration Act does not permit registered voters to be removed based on computer matching… Indeed, the NVRA requires that “any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters” must be completed at least 90 days prior to a federal election,” the order read. “Given the fact that hurriedly reprogramming the database could lead to the purging of validly registered voters, we believe that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Ohio that we issue a stay of the district court’s order.”

    Brunner praised the appeals court decision, saying there are sufficient systems in place to verify new-voter registration.

    Did you get that? The National Voter Registration Act prevents removing names based on computer matching within 90 days of an election. And there are sufficient systems in place to verify new-voter registration. The Ohio Secretary of State did not, as you say, “deliberately turn[ed] off the mechanisms for checking new voter registrations.” She simply didn’t add to the systems which were already in place, and by federal law she couldn’t do what was requested of her.

    Of course, since you don’t believe your government officals, you won’t take the Ohio Secretary of States word for it. Instead you will put your trust in unverifiable rumors found on a web-page.

    Then wolfwalker snarled, “Democrat groups promptly brought in busloads of people whose residency couldn’t be verified, to register and cast votes.”

    Without a cite. You made the claim, where is the evidence?

    Further, you also claim, “Flex: both your conditions are easily met, and in fact have already been met in this election.” Without providing any evidence of this assertion.

    The fact that ACORN has registered people who were ALREADY registered is not a problem with the system. There are several points in the system where duplicates are weeded out, up to and including at the polls. The fact that the voter rolls carry more registered voters than the number of potential voters in a municipality is not only common, but has been true in pretty much every municipality, ever.

    When people die or move out of state, they stay on the rolls unless they personally tell the clerk they moved, or a obituary is produced to indicate they are dead. They also no longer vote in that municipality.

    You have not shown the even the first condition that I required has been met; i.e. identify people on the rolls who are not going to vote, or fraudulently register enough people in each municipality to affect the outcome. Hamilton County in Ohio, from Census figures has about 620,000 people of voting age, assuming 65% vote (which is a conservative bet in this election), that’s 400,000 votes will be cast. Or 4,000 votes for every percentage point in an election. This would have to be duplicated in enough municipalities in Ohio (say about 500,000 additional fraudulent votes) to swing the state. For perspective only 200,000 men were involved in D-Day amphibious assault in Normandy.

    And every one of these people would have to remain quiet about it.

    It is practically impossible to steal a statewide election through voter fraud without corrupt officials.

    Now, disenfranchising voters through taking away their right to vote is a different story. There are lots of ways to acomplish that end.

  77. #77 Flex
    November 3, 2008

    Oh, and in case I wasn’t clear, that would be about 500,000 fraudulent votes cast to make (at most) a 1% change in Ohio in the outcome.

    Want 2%? We are talking a million or more fraudulent votes cast.

  78. #78 Shay
    November 3, 2008

    Catherine…if you’re the one having the babies, there’s nothing bad about it at all.

  79. #79 AntiquatedTory
    November 4, 2008

    Orac,
    I don’t know if all Europeans think they’re “better” than their barbaric American cousins because they have more of a left in their politics. Some do. Serious, thinking people maybe less so.
    But the terms “far left” and “socialist,” esp the latter, are not really relative to a country. It is simply preposterous to describe Obama as being on the “far left.” (It is equally preposterous to describe George W Bush, or Cheney, or even Pat Buchanan as a “fascist.”) These labels are specific to people who follow a particular subset of ideologies. Furthermore, there are people in the United States who do follow these ideologies. There is a Socialist Party. There is even a Revolutionary Communist Party. There are those people who hand out copies of Young Spartacus on University campuses, and put up “Mao More Than Ever!” stickers. They simply don’t have any political traction, which is something Americans can be thankful for.
    I think a more fair criticism of American politics is how followers of the mainstream tendencies, esp followers from the outer fringes of these tendencies, whip themselves into an ideological furor against the extremism of the other side, when with any perspective at all they’d see that there just isn’t nearly enough of a difference to justify their furor.
    Let’s leave small, wealthy, consensus countries like Sweden out of it for a second and consider European countries where there really is a vast difference between parties who can get into power. Let’s look at say Spain, or Italy. America does not have the kind of political spectrum that those countries have, and would never want to have it. Yet the political discourse in America has a sizable minority of Republicans and Democrats talking about each other as if they were indistinguishable from Francoists or Communists. It’s all a bit silly, no? Not to mention counterproductive?

  80. #80 wackyvorlon
    November 21, 2008

    I am a ham radio operator, and personally I find their use of 88 to be very strange. In ham radio, there’s a few numbers that are used as short-hand. 73, for example, means “good bye”. 88 is used by hams, though less frequently. It means “hugs and kisses”.

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