When is a terrorist not a terrorist?
Apparently, all the time, now. Last night, watching CNN report on the Chechnyan terrorists takeover of the theater in Moscow, CNN referred to them over and over again as "the hostage-takers." In one Reuters article, they are called "captors," "rebels," and "guerrillas." The only mention of terror refers to "the U.S.-led global war on terrorism." This AP story doesn't refer to terrorists, either. They are "gunmen" and "hostage takers"
In my lexicon, guerrilla fighters and rebels are names for the people fighting military forces and choosing military targets. The second you move on to deliberately targeting civilians, you are no longer anything but a terrorist. But hey, what do I know? Here's the AP description of the scene:
Captors. Gunmen. Hostage-takers. Not terrrorists, though many of them were clad in the latest of bomb-belt fashions. Dozens of their hostages are dead today, many wounded, and these simple "rebels" are described as above.
The terrorists have won the language war. Or is it the multicultis and the PC crowds? Certainly, the newsroom staffs across the globe have succumbed to the mindset ofcaptives. Why else are they so afraid to call a bloodthirsty killer a terrorist?
When is a terrorist not a terrorist? When the media say so. permalink
The newsletter is finished, the apartment is mostly clean, I haven't revised my chapters, but hey, maybe something will hit me tomorrow.
The good news: The sniper only lived in NJ, and frankly, Camden is South Jersey (practically Philadelphia), and we don't really count it as part of the state. What a sick, twisted, pathetic piece of human excrement he is. I sure hope they try him for murder in Virginia. We have the death penalty here, and it is carried out. Try him and fry him, please.
Does it mean anything that he converted to Islam? Yeah, it means that even religious converts can be sick, twisted, pathetic pieces of human excrement. The Muslim issue does nothing for me but scream "coincidence!" The guy he was with is from Jamaica. Does that mean anything other than he was from Jamaica?
On the other hand, if they find an Al Qaeda connection, then you can talk Muslims to me. Don't be so quick to point fingers and lay blame.
If you want to talk Chechnya, on the other hand... I could swear I read that the Islamofascists mentioned that they were going to do just such a thing months ago. If anyone remembers where I might have seen that, please email me.
And let's hope it's not a practice run for the Great White Way. permalink
And New Jersey:
The Cohens are from Livingston, NJ. Josh attends Kushner Hebrew Academy, where my mother worked for some years. (She was horrified the summer day I came to visit wearing shorts. Kushner Academy is Orthodox. Whoops.)
It's nice to see something good happening in Israel once in a while, eh? permalink
Reader and frequent correspondent Alex Bensky had a great day celebrating this "holiday":
I love my readers. permalink
The MinuteMan let his 7th-grade daughter make a guest appearance on his weblog today. Her homework assignment was to imagine herself as a "newspaper editorialist in 1776. You are solidly behind the newly-announced "Declaration of Independence" - what do you write?"
Here's part of what she did:
I sense a Fox News show in this girl's future. permalink
Will Femia changed the LGF label. It now reads:
I am content. But is Will right when he refuses to change the last line of this graf?
Some people do call LGF hateful and racist. That's not much different from The Fray's posting guidelines. Oh, wait. Yes, it is. Nowhere does MSNBC warn its users that posts may be hateful or even racist. This is as close as they come to it:
Will, I'm glad you removed the hate label. And yes, some people do find LGF's content hateful or even racist. But putting that warning on the LGF description is kowtowing to the whiners and smear campaigners and the PC crowd. Sorry, Will, but you've still got a failing grade in First Amendment 101 from me.
1) Pontifex Ex Machina joins in the LGF Blogburst with a pretty funny post.
2) Anil Dash has sent me a long and very nice letter that I would like to post and respond to, but I'm working on a newsletter deadline and then after that I need to revise two chapters or write a brand-new story by Thursday night, plus I need to clean my apartment because I'll have a guest for the weekend, so it may not happen until next week. I will try to spare some time for it tomorrow night.
But here's the thing. Will you guys stop already with the stupid mangling of his name? It's so effing childish that it only insults you for stooping so low. (Although Anil ought to work on that masochistic streak of his and not respond to everyone in the comments sections of their blogs. Really, Anilsometimes you have to know when not to post.)
Um, you knowdialogues can be good. Flinging insults aren't the only way to talk.
I may get run out of Richmond on a rail for printing the above, but heyI was born a Yankee, so maybe it's expected of me. Maybe Jack will write more regularly with us peeking in on him now. (Psst: Layne has a "y" in his name.) permalink
I can't resist this one: Lynn B. warns MSNBC that they're skating close to the edge of libel with their "hate" site designation of LGF.
One other thing that Lynn pointed out that we all missed:
Yeah, that is an interesting point. Nobody but Charles got singled out for criticism. Why is that? I have my theories, but no proof. So I won't post them. Yet. permalink
The note they found at the site of the Ashland shooting has caused Richmond area schools to close down for the second day in a row. My religious school class is canceled today. I was speaking with one of the parents, who is from Westchester, and we're pretty much agreed that we know perfectly well how to protect ourselves from the usual travails of city lifebut we're clueless on how to deal with this.
And, of course, you all know by now that he struck again, in Maryland. A bus driver. If his message is "I will get you no matter what you do or where you go," well, uh, we already figured that out, nutjob.
Susanna Cornett has an extensive analysis of the shooter, drawn from her work and studies in law enforcement. She follows up with a new post answering questions from readers. Michele wonders out loud her theorieslike me, she just thinks out loud and goes from the gut. We have no expertise to speak of, but damn, we have our opinions, right Michele?
My brother and my mother keep calling. I extracted a promise from Heidi not to shop at the shopping area off 95 where I fear the sniper will shoot next when he comes back to VA. I won't need gas until Monday or Tuesday, I hope, so I don't have to worry about that until next week. "Stay safe" or "Be safe" is now the way everyone ends their phone conversations around here. My emailbox is filled with comments from people who add as a by-the-way, "Be careful." The Beltway Bloggers and I crack wise or compare stories.
The most telling remark came this morning, from Heidi. She's worried about the school closures, which happened because in the note he left at Ashland, the sniper apparently threatened to go after children. At least when it snows, Heidi told me, we know it's going to melt. permalink
Amidst all the brouhaha over whether or not LGF is "racist" (it is not), let's not forget that MSNBC still has that "but" statement on its Best of Blogs page:
There is also this gem that I must have missed yesterday:
In the meantime, let's look at MSN's policy statement on The Fray that you get from their guidelines:
Obviously, MSN is no stranger to "hate" posts. They expect them on The Fray, and indeed, we have all read far worse on The Fray than we have read on LGF. Well, those of us who have actually read both sites, anyway. Will they label their own Fray "racist" or "hateful" because of that?
I think not.
And so, let me get back on point: MSNBC, remove the "hate" label from LGF on your page. Will Femia, you are libeling Charles Johnson's reputation and weblog. (That link is an email link. Click it and give them your opinion.) MSNBC, stand up for freedom of expression. permalink
Anil Dash has posted a few comments over on Charles' weblog, one of which directs a series of questions to me, and accuses me of being untruthful. It's become too long a response for me to put in the comments thread. Sorry, Anil. You'll have to post a reply on your blog, because I don't have (and won't be getting anytime soon) comments here.
Let's talk lies, Anil.
Lie. I mention the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in reference to Indymedia (scroll down, it's right below this one).
Ooh, it's the Patented McCarthyism Tactic. I haven't seen that before.
Here's my quote:
Here is MSNBC's text:
Wow, three mentions of Anil Dash in one paragraph, all linked, on the MSNBC Best of Blogs page discussing LGF. Quoted emails calling LGF hateful. An admission by MSNBC that they reviewed their inclusion of LGF in Best of Blogs. Yeah, I sure was making up the facts by the handful, wasn't I? Anil has nothing to do with the change in LGF's label.
And you might want to read your own comments thread, Bunky.
And what's this? Could it be a remark by Anil indicating that he thinks Charles is a bigot?
Nah. The mention of "crusade" isn't meant to jab you with an elbow and a wink and say, "See? He's a racist," is it, Anil? (Try not to misquote me when you mangle that last phrase, will you?)
That wasn't you I was talking about directly, but you sure seem to have done a good job at leading the charge against LGF. MSNBC says so. Lie.
And yet, the first comment to your post on your weblog is as follows:
Thus proving that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle.
Sarcasm, Bunky. Ever heard of it? It's a tool I use frequently, as any regular reader of mine can tell you. Lie.
My actual words:
Didn't say what you said I said. Lie.
Didn't say that. Lie.
You did say that. See comment 23. Lie.
Nah, they like my screeds. Just ask 'em. And, their respectwell that comes because they know that I back my words up with facts, unlike what you've just done. Lie.
Lie. See above.
Gee, Anil. I didn't know those were the rules. I'm supposed to email personally every single blogger I disagree with before putting a post on my website, or writing a comment here on LGF. Got it. Check. Not a lie, just a whine.
I read your post, and reacted. As is absolutely my right, and you know that. What, I was supposed to ask someone for permission before posting? I don't think so.
Wasn't me. But I've gotten some pretty crummy email from the right, too, especially after I take down Coulter on my weblog. Her fans are both legion and often mouth-breathers. I just ignore the email and, if necessary, put the sender in my filter. I also get email from twisted people for no apparent reason. What's your point? Do you really think there's a concerted effort to assassinate you because you dissed Charles Johnson? Get real. We all get hate mail.
Ah. So I'm truly vicious. Thank you for the compliment. Because after all, that wouldn't be, oh, a personal attack that would create a vicious atmosphere, would it? Again: Get real. If you think my writing is vicious, you have an incredibly low tolerance level for dissent. Get a grip. If I wanted to be vicious, you'd know it. Just ask Nasty Boy (a.k.a. Nastification Agenda), who is, by the way, one of the people who post in the comments threads at LGF that I wish wouldn't. I disagree with nearly all of what he says, and he's absolutely the kind of bigot you're talking about. I have told him so, and will doubtless tell him again. (And I mean that in the kindest of ways, NB, so kindly don't go ballistic on me. Be a good Poster Child.) But Charles won't ban him because NB stopped attacking other LGF commenters (mostly). That's the beauty of America. People get to put out hateful thoughts without being thrown in prison or shut down. (Well, unless you're pro-Israel, but that's another topic entirely. [cough! SFSU! cough!]
Your premise, Anil, is actually something that I have wrestled with in the past: Should "hate speech" be banned, or must we continue to protect our First Amendment rights fiercely, and allow any moron with a permit to march in hate and display hateful signs and make hateful speeches? I used to be a pure First Amendment rightist (as in rights, not as in political leaning), but then I started to wonder if neo-nazis actually do inspire some to kill in their name. I'm still not 100 percent sure of my opinion on the issue.
But one thing I am sure of: To accuse Charles Johnson of fostering an atmosphere of hatred and bigotry, when what he is really doing is providing a forum for attitudes that you and various other bloggers and readers don't likewell, your accusation lacks a certain moral clarity. Charles prints the truth on his weblog. Those are news articles he quotes, not made-up, not fiction. His readers comment on them. Some of them put in really stupid comments, like the geniuses who seem to think that misspelling your first name is some kind of hilarious. (It's not, morons, it's a cheap hit and makes you look like your brains are as tiny as your wieners.) See, Anil, that was vicious.
Next time, come back at me with some nonfiction yourself, and we'll see if we can talk. Because all I'm seeing from you is misquotes, fudging, and lies. Your argument doesn't stand up to daylight. Over to you, Chet. permalink
Some webloggers of the left, led by Anil Dash, have labeled Charles Johnson a racist, and his site a hate sitebecause some people in his comment threads leave bigoted remarks. Bill Herbert weighs in:
While these are worthwhile thoughts, and I agree with them, you've missed the big picture here: Dash et. al. have successfully persuaded MSNBC to label Charles' site as a "hate" blog. This is how it's described in Best of Blogs:
This is unacceptable. MSNBC needs to remove this label. I sent them a letter that includes the following:
You can send email to MSNBC and tell them they need to remove that "hate" label. If your'e going to cc: it to anyone, cc: it to Charles, not me.
As I see it, we have a perfect example here of the left trying to muzzle or altogether silence a weblog that purveys ideas they don't like or agree with. Which is sadly amusing if you go read Charles' archives from the pre-9/11 days. Yep, he was a lefty. Now he's a hawk, and he is exercising his First Amendment rights, as are his readerssome of whom are bigots. But bigotry is a right-only problem, isn't it? It's not like Charles were running a site called, say, Indymedia and had posted, oh, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, right Anil?
Right. Goddamned hypocrites. Clean out your own back yard first, then come complaining to Charleswhen Indymedia isn't fabricating "news" reports that accuse the Mossad of the Bali bombing, or posting ancient anti-Semitic forgeries on their website. And he still won't be the bigot you claim him to be. permalink
It is 12:40 p.m., and I'm sitting in my Jeep in the parking lot of the First Union Bank on the corner of Parham Road and West Broad Street. A line of police cars block the street, diverting traffic. A news helicopter flies in small circles, then comes to rest over the crowd of media people and vehicles that stand in the street in front of a bank. The satellite trees stick out between the actual trees lining the back of the bank parking lot. The Exxon station across the street is the place where the police surrounded and arrested two suspects who may be the snipers. Yellow police tape now surrounds the station, making it look faintly ridiculous. As I sit here typing, I've seen several photographers, still and video, come into this parking lot and unload their cameras, their press credentials prominently displayed. So far, no one with a digital camera, alas.
A little way farther down Parham is the Henrico County Courthouse, where the suspects have been taken and are being interrogated. Rain beats down intermittently. The officers wear their flourescent green and orange raincoats, whistles bleating at intervals as they direct traffic away from the gas station.
There's going to be a press conference in about five minutes. Finally, I found someone with a digital camera, who will be emailing me the pictures that he takes. I find myself hoping with all my being that these are the shooters.
Virginia radio stations are lacking. Not a single all-news channel, as opposed to three in the New York metro area. I'm relying on news from passersby and waiting for the press conference to begin, which the talk radio station I'm listening to will broadcast live. But the excitement here is winding downthey've reopened West Broad, traffic is easing, and frankly, I'm getting bored. While it was fun playing Girl Reporter again, I don't want to stand in the rain and wait for the news conference. I'm not being paid to do this, so I'll finish up at home.
1:50 p.m.: Home, watching News12, and getting more and more certain that these two suspects are the snipers. Wondering if Henrico schools were closed due to the knowledge that these snipers were going to be contacting the police. I wonder a lot of things, but most of all, I want to hear that these two suspects are, without doubt, the sniper team.
Let me try to give you the context of where this is in relation to where I live. The Exxon station is about twelve miles north of me. It took me twenty minutes to get back home via Parham Road. On the way, I passed my synagogue and my library. This is far more excitement than I bargained for when I moved to Richmond. I will be most pleased if this is the most excitement I ever have as a resident of Virginia.
I'll update with pictures when Jody emails them to me. permalink
Update: CBS News is reporting the two men are not the sniper team. Okay, now I'm really bummed. Probably not nearly as much as the two men, who will be going to jail for a long time.
This is the coolest airplane ever: Check out the new Bird of Prey (and yeah, it looks very Trekkish). Via Duckboy. Click on all the images; you will not be disappointed. Wonder if this is the giant bird they're talking about in Alaska?
Got a search request for "henrico county schools closed sniper" this evening. And so it begins. Henrico County schools are all closed tomorrow.
Mom called tonight. She wants to know what I'm doing to protect myself. In a case like this, you can't tell your mother, "Well, nothing, really. I switched gas stations." So I told her I'd be careful. Then I told her there are about a million people in the Richmond Metro area, so the odds were about a million to one that I'd get shot. That seemed to comfort her a bit. Then I told her that if I do get shot, and lapse into a coma, I don't want the life-support unplugged unless they're absolutely, positively sure I'm brain dead. (Kindly keep the evil thoughts to yourselves, oh smartasses, about the power of my brain when it isn't dead.) I'm not sure that comforted her, but hey. She's used to my sense of humor by now.
If you ask me, the sniper isn't a southerner. If he truly wanted to spread fear into the hearts of southerners, he wouldn't have shot someone coming out of a Ponderosa. He'd have staked out a Waffle House. Or an Aunt Sarah's.
Mmmmm. Waffle House.... permalink
So after teaching religious school this morning (where we had extra teenagers helping because Henrico Countysurprisecancelled all outdoor games today), there was still the problem of filling my vehicle's gas tank. I found myself trying to choose where I should go: The expensive gas station down the street that's so far off the beaten track that Psycho Sniper couldn't find it? The gas station where I normally fill up because, dammit, I'm not going to be afraid to fill up my gas tank? The gas station beyond my regular one because it doesn't have anywhere to hide?
Well. Bravado won. I drove to my regular place, pulled into the lot, and realizedthere are trees out back. Lots of 'em. There are power lines behind the station, with a line of woods and trees far enough away that a sniper could hide and shoot from them. Oh, c'mon, I told myself. Don't be so paranoid. He probably doesn't even know this area exists. You have to take an exit off 95, then another exit to the main road here. Which is not so far off, I realized, from the way the psycho struck last night.
The upshot: I drove out of the perceived danger zone and down the street to the WaWa, and realized that the reason this S.O.B. is getting away with it is that everything around here has trees behind it. There is far more room and fewer people down this way than there are in New Jersey. Well, North Jersey, anyway.
It's very strange. I lived in New Jersey for most of my life, and worked in New York City for several years. I've always lived in areas where you (especially if you're a woman alone) have to stay alert and aware of your surroundings, lock the car, know where you are at night and be careful about getting in and out of your car. I know how to travel around NYC at night with the least possible risk of getting mugged or worse. Here in Virginia, I don't have to lock my car in most neighborhoods, and have a feeling of security that I've rarely felt in New Jersey.
And yet, now, I'm supposed to prepare for the worstjust to go out and fill up my car with gas. Well, except that there really isn't much I can do. How does one try to find a nutjob hiding in the bushes? Do I get my binoculars out and bring them with me to scan the area while I'm getting gas or shopping for food? Do I walk with a crouch or stand near someone who's bigger and makes a better target? Do we get how ridiculous this is yet?
I suppose I'll just go on about my normal business, and keep my eye out on the horizon for the glint of light on metal coming from the trees. Well, when I remember to, anyway. Like I said, on Wednesday night, my friend and I simply walked out of the restaurant where we'd eaten dinner and went to my car, without stopping to wonder if we'd get shot for doing so.
They really need to catch this psycho. permalink
A day or so ago, I pointed out Zem's discovery that the nazimedia kiddies were making up press releases to make it seem like the Mossad was behind the Bali bombing. He updates that information today:
Can you say, "Indymedia = anti-Semitism"? I knew you could. Let's try this one: "Indymedia = Lies." permalink
Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.