Thursday Evening Open Thread: The Past Isn’t Dead – It Isn’t Even Past

NYTimes story from Tuesday, “The Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat“:

… The main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists. Just ask the police.

In a survey we conducted with the Police Executive Research Forum last year of 382 law enforcement agencies, 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction; 39 percent listed extremism connected with Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist organizations. And only 3 percent identified the threat from Muslim extremists as severe, compared with 7 percent for anti-government and other forms of extremism…

Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. “The threat is real,” says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a “fear that government will confiscate firearms” and a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”…

Most of the GOP presidential candidates are currently attending Ralph Reed‘s “Faith & Freedom Coalition Policy Conference” in DC, where Rand Paul has already shared his thoughts on the Charleston massacre:

… “What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people?” Paul lamented. “There’s a sickness in our country. There’s something terribly wrong. But it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. It’s people straying away, it’s people not understanding where salvation comes from. I think if we understand that, we’ll have better expectations of what to expect from government.”…

Hillary Clinton was in Las Vegas at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), along with Bernie Sanders… and Ben Carson.

Apart from the Original Sin behind “American Exceptionalism”, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

176 replies
  1. 1
    Pogonip says:


    I sure I am glad that horrible man was caught so quickly.

    Have you heard from Soonergrunt? If so, how’s he doing?

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    At some point, we are just going to be flat out sad about the lost lives.

    Beautiful and mildish thunderstorm sweeping through NoVa now. Love the intense rain, followed by bright sun through rain showers.

    Why yes, I am not driving in rush hour at the moment.

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    @Pogonip: And he is barely a man. Looks like the teenager he was recently. Smiling as he was photographed by the AP. I think he likes the notoriety. We all know his name tonight.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @Pogonip: Sooner seems to be doin ok.

  5. 5
    Pogonip says:

    @Elizabelle: Hmmph. I hope he enjoys the notoriety of the electric chair or whatever S. Carolina uses.

  6. 6
    joel hanes says:

    Thanks for the donation link.

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:

    The charter school movement moves further, to trademark a president’s name.

    When Matthew Krol, board president for the new John Adams High School in Colorado, opened the trademark demand letter from an attorney in Sacramento, he was baffled. The letter from a lawyer representing the John Adams Academy in Roseville directed the Littleton, Colo. high school to choose another name or face the possibility of legal action.

    “I just couldn’t believe it. It would be different if we had a name that was geographic, like Grand Canyon School,” said Krol. “We’re talking about a president of the United States and a founding father of our country.

    “You look around, and a lot of schools have the name of a founding father,” he said, noting that he found nearly two dozen schools named after the second U.S. president in an internet search. “I just can’t see how somebody could trademark a president of the United States.”

    Krol said he has worked with founders for most of the last three years to help organize John Adams High School, intended to enroll about 1,500 students. The campus won approval June 2 from the Douglas County School District to begin operation in August 2016.

    The lawyer’s letter, signed by Sacramento intellectual property attorney Mark R. Leonard, arrived in Krol’s mailbox about 10 days before the district’s approval. The letter advised that the academy in Roseville has two federal trademark registrations for “John Adams Academy” and plans to protect its intellectual property.

    Note, especially, the Colorado town’s name, on this, of all days….

  8. 8
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Can someone interpret what Rand Paul said? I don’t get it. How does his statement explain the S.C. shootings in any way, shape or form? He should have remained silent.

  9. 9
    Trollhattan says:

    Pretty sure capital punishment in South Carolina comprises Nikki Haley kicking you in the junk until you’re dead.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    On the bright side, if Paul stays with meaningless glibertarian mysticism, that is probably the best he can do.

    Nice that Paul says he turns to pastors for help in quelling the hate and violence. Wonder where it comes from? Can Paul address that? Seems like he is a rather non-innovating taker here, passively asking religious leaders for help, rather than thinking what he can do himself about it. But it is all in the private sector, so no problem.

    He doesn’t think government can do anything at all about it. He seems to imply that the government must be ineffective and trying to anything will result in it being the be-all and end-all and counterproductive. Seems like the shooter lost in his delusional hatred had similar thoughts. No one was going to protect ‘us’ form the menace so he had to take things into his own hands, and I guess from what he did, he wants to be an example.

    So, probably best Paul spouts gibberish until he finds time to think things through a little more.

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:


    “What kind of person goes into church and shoots nine people?” Paul lamented. “There’s a sickness in our country. There’s something terribly wrong. But it isn’t going to be fixed by your government. …

    Shorter Rand Paul: Don’t look to me for leadership. Leadership is useless. A President can’t fix anything.

    And this poor excuse for a Senator is a serious candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination. Yeah, there’s definitely a sickness in our country, but it’s not where Paul is looking for it – unless he’s facing a mirror.

  12. 12
    fuckwit says:

    Not only is there the vigilante terrorism of racists with guns, there’s also the entrenched institutionalized violence against mostly minorities, perpetrated by people who rent their guns from their employer, the local municipality:

  13. 13
    Trollhattan says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    It’s word salad as written by a committed carnivore. Not a lick of it makes any sense.

  14. 14
    Chris says:

    That New York Times article is so blindingly obvious. Muslims are, like, one or two percent of the American population; not historically a very radicalized one; and one that’s had the living daylights scrutinized out of them for fifteen years. White anti-government conservatives, on the other hand, are basically half the voting population. Of course terrorists from the latter group would find it easier to operate in the U.S, and of course there’d be more of them.

  15. 15
    Baud says:


    I hope you are doing something to defoxify your body after today.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Trollhattan: True dat.

  17. 17
    Mandalay says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    The Past Isn’t Dead – It Isn’t Even Past

    TNC has a suggestion to address that problem:

    Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now

    …Moral cowardice requires choice and action. It demands that its adherents repeatedly look away, that they favor the fanciful over the plain, myth over history, the dream over the real. Here is another choice.

    Take down the flag. Take it down now.

    Put it in a museum. Inscribe beneath it the years 1861-2015. Move forward. Abandon this charlatanism. Drive out this cult of death and chains. Save your lovely souls. Move forward. Do it now.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    “And he stepped into divisive waters again.”

    Yup. I am watching Fox again. That’s about PBO making some comments about the 14th (?) multiple murder that happened during his presidency.

    It is another world. They’re dogwhistling to gun owners, but not too too loud, yet.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    This is a nice story about the woman who recognized the terrorist. link

    After notifying police, she turned around to go to work, but changed her mind and did another u-turn. She followed him until he was pulled over.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: I am drinking red wine and the cable is tuned to Fox again. Out of curiosity. I shall flee if anyone of Cavuto-strength (industrial strength stupid and mean and avaricious) arrives. So far it’s kind of mild-mannered Chris Wallace. Will hit ABC and CBS at 6:30 p.

    The sad is settling in.

  21. 21
    Pogonip says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Well, he’s saying the government cannot cure America’s spiritual cancer, I got that part, but I don’t get his ultimate point either.

  22. 22
    Chris T. says:


    Shorter Rand Paul: Don’t look to me for leadership. Leadership is useless. A President can’t fix anything.

    Don’t forget the last bit: “… therefore, vote for me, I won’t even try to fix anything!”

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: My local CBS station did a nice tribute for the reverend that died.
    Their coverage has been outstanding. They also had a commentator talking about black lives matter. She pointed out that statement doesn’t mean other lives don’t but that race is important. Ebenezer Baptist Church is having a service tonight.

  24. 24
    Terry Chay says:

    @Patricia Kayden: the right wing meme to disavow this person is to claim he is an atheist and if he had been a Christian it would not have happened. Paul is alluding to that

  25. 25
    Tommy says:

    @Chris: My best friend is a Muslim. The most peaceful and polite person I’ve ever met. But because of his religion and skin color he is forced to endure things myself as a white dude can’t wrap my mind around. It is sad at levels I can’t really put to words.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:


    Good on Ms. Dills.

    After first spotting Roof’s car in south Gastonia, Dills said, she followed him to the Kings Mountain exit on the U.S. 74 bypass, then exited to head to work at the florist shop in downtown Kings Mountain. Something didn’t feel right to her, so she headed back to the bypass and drove west to attempt to catch up to Roof to provide more details.

    “What if that really was him?” she thought. “I have friends going to the mountains this weekend, so if it that was him and something would happen again, what would I do? It kept eating at me, and something told me to keep following him.”

    More people need to exercise some imagination and look out for others.

    Also: check out today.

    Newspaper out of Columbia, SC. I have never, ever seen such big website headlines.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @Terry Chay: It wouldn’t have happened had he not been a white supremacist. Just sayin
    They do know that most supremacists are Sunday christians, right.

  28. 28
    Baud says:


    I don’t know when Bill O. or Hannity are on, but I would suggest avoiding them also.

  29. 29
    Mandalay says:


    It’s word salad as written by a committed carnivore.

    Speaking of word salad, Hillary Clinton was tossing some of her own….

    Clinton hinted at wanting to take action on the issue while staying vague about just what that meant.

    “Let’s unite in partnership, not just to talk but to act,” she told the officials in the room. Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon declined to elaborate on what Clinton was saying about her intentions on gun laws. She has traditionally been in favor of tightening gun laws.

    Clinton leaned on the language of the civil rights movement in discussing Wednesday’s shooting, which took place at a black church. “The shock and pain of this crime of hate strikes deep,” she said.

    “You do not walk alone,” she told the people of Charleston, drawing on a line used by Martin Luther King. “You do not walk alone because millions of Americans … are walking with you, in grief, in solidarity, in determination. We are with you and we will stand with you as we seek answers and take action.”

    Pure pablum.

    Right now all politicians except Haley and Obama should just STFU.

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Have you heard from Soonergrunt? If so, how’s he doing?

    Every few days, I check his Twitter account. He sounds okay. Wish he would come back to Balloon Juice when he is ready to do that. I miss him here.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    Let’s talk about those who walked among us yesterday at this time, and it was their last. They are loved, and mourned, and missed. From the Charleston Post and Courier.

    Coroner names 9 slain in downtown Charleston church shooting

    I wish it was not illustrated with a picture of their executioner.

    Clementa Pinckney, 41, the primary pastor who also served as a state senator.

    –Cynthia Hurd, 54, St. Andrews regional branch manager for the Charleston County Public Library system.

    –Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45, a church pastor, speech therapist and coach of the girls’ track and field team at Goose Creek High School.

    –Tywanza Sanders, 26, who had a degree in business administration from Allen University, where Pinckney also attended.

    –Ethel Lance, 70, a retired Gilliard Center employee who has worked recently as a church janitor.

    –Susie Jackson, 87, Lance’s cousin who was a longtime church member.

    –DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49, a pastor who retired in 2005 as Charleston County director of the Community Development Block Grant Program.

    –Myra Thompson, 59, a pastor at the church.

    –Daniel Simmons Sr., 74, a pastor, who died in a hospital operating room.

    Good people. We needed them. They’re gone, every one, and too early, because the wrong hands hold guns in our great country.

    Do we have the steel in our hearts and the political will to change that?

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: The NY Times linked to the article and when I read the entire thing, I wanted to congratulate her. Girl power!

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I was sorta hoping that Sarah Palin would be a guest on Hannity, or that woman whose name I always forget, or O’Reilly, and that we could count on you to report.

    ETA: Greta Van Susterin

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Acknowledging and lamenting but not dwelling on what is leading the news today.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Roof’s car

    Sorry, but I see that and I think of Romney’s dog.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Seamus would have called the police too. Woof!

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    What does it say when David Muir says “the worst church shooting in recent memory“?

    Jesus f*ck.

  38. 38
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: Those names and their background is very, very hard to read.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    One of his friends said he was into “Southern Pride and conservatism”.

  40. 40
    marianne19 says:

    NBC news opens with, “Why would a young man walk into a church and start shooting?” Why, indeed. I weep for my country. Our inability to face our not-past past is going to end in ruin.

  41. 41
    shell says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Straying from salvation? Uh, the people that were gunned down were in a bible study meeting in a church! What exactly were they doing wrong, Mr Paul?

  42. 42

    @Trollhattan: Littleton’s rather large for a suburb, you know. It’s not like they only have one school.

    /grew up there and hate the association

  43. 43
    Baud says:


    Unusual to see those qualities in a gay atheist Democrat. #Fox

  44. 44
    lamh36 says:

    Fuck you Miss Lindsey!

    The Wildly Different Ways One Senator Responds To Terrorism: Boston Versus Charleston

    In response to the Boston bombing of 2013, Senator Lindsey Graham demanded that the government do everything it could to learn from the attack and prevent future attacks.
    This man, in my view, should be designated as a potential enemy combatant and we should be allowed to question him for intelligence gathering purposes to find out about future attacks and terrorist organizations that may exist that he has knowledge of, and that evidence cannot be used against him in trial. That evidence is used to protect us as a nation…

    Graham’s reaction to Wednesday’s attack on a black church in his home state of South Carolina was very different. (His niece, coincidentally, went to school with the shooter). Graham is adamant that the attack is not evidence of any larger problem.
    Graham, who is on his way to Charleston, said his niece did not recall Roof making any statements that were related to race.
    “I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that,” Graham said. “It’s about a young man who is obviously twisted.”..


    And another FUCK YOU to Nikki Haley for not taking down that damn confederate flag.

  45. 45
    Keith G says:


    At some point, we are just going to be flat out sad about the lost lives.

    I wish people would start that step a lot sooner than they seem to. So much anger, so many theories, so much jockeying to be in the lead of the parade of the outraged.

    As if the information that has been laid in front of us wasn’t upsetting enough, I read comments from folks who were angry at hypothypotheticals that may not even come to pass.

    I do not know what motivated the young shooter with the dead eyes I saw on his previous mug shot and in the short run its not important that I do. Sooner or later speculation will be replaced with facts and that’s when I will take the time to read what has been found out about this young man and the wonderful people whose lives he destroyed.

    Until then and after, I will simply send my thoughts to the families of the victims hoping they can eventually find someway to surround themselves with comfort.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tommy: Breaks your heart.

  47. 47
    trnc says:

    Criminy. In what part of fucking fucktardistan does Rand’s statement make any fucking sense at all? Yeah, in no way can government help, in much the same way that government can’t help keep cars and trucks moving on roads with their government regulated traffic lights and their government issued stop signs and their oppressive limits that keep most peoples’ speed to sub Nascar levels. Or their fascist cleanliness rules for food production. Which is to say GOVERNMENT CAN DEFINITELY FUCKING HELP SOMETIMES, YOU FUCKING MORONIC FUCK.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @Keith G:

    “I never heard him say anything, but just he had that kind of Southern pride, I guess some would say. Strong conservative beliefs,” he said. “He made a lot of racist jokes, but you don’t really take them seriously like that. You don’t really think of it like that.”

  49. 49
    LWA (Liberal With Attitude) says:

    I’m too angry to be sad.

    If this was the first, or second, or 12th such terrorist attack, but after a while I stop thinking of them as loners and start seeing them as individual cells of a very large metastasizing cancer on our society.

    And I direct my anger at their enablers and defenders, those that throw the fuel on the fire of the right wing nativist rage then claim innocence when the inevitable happens.

  50. 50
    A guy says:

    More mother father marriages that last 50 years with the sole purpose to raise their kids to respect all people, to work productively each day and be ashamed of a handout would go a long way to solving the crime in this country

  51. 51
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @raven: Was that the same friend who said that Roof wasn’t racist even though he often told racist jokes?

  52. 52
    ThresherK says:

    @JGabriel: Nothing that Paul can’t improve on with another RWRO (right-wing reach out) speech at Howard U.

  53. 53

    @A guy: Can you at least try? We have the laziest trolls.

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    If he could, do you think he’d be a troll here?

  55. 55
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: Good humans killed.

  56. 56
    lamh36 says:

    Wait…I read somewhere that SC doesn’t have state hate crime laws?

    Anyone else heard that?

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    @Keith GWell put.

    As if the information that has been laid in front of us wasn’t upsetting enough, I read comments from folks who were angry at hypothypotheticals that may not even come to pass.

    On some sites it nears a state of drooling voyeurism which they apparently feel impelled to share.

  58. 58
    MomSense says:

    Had some crises at work today which meant that I didn’t have time to think about Charleston. When I got home it really hit me. I’m a PK so I grew up in churches and kept thinking about the feeling of home and peace you find when you are really connected to your faith community. We often call our worship spaces sanctuaries. The people who were murdered were robbed of their sanctuary. The loss of life is compounded by the loss of that feeling of safety that a community finds in their church. This is devastating and my heart is breaking for them even as I can’t even approach the depth of anguish the families and members of the church must be feeling.
    What do we do about this? I wish I knew. This isn’t some isolated occurrence. There is a virulent strain of violent racism that has always been with us and seems to be gaining strength. It’s not going to go away on its own. That the terrorist was 21 tells us that this is not a dying movement.

  59. 59
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @lamh36: “Graham doesn’t care about Black people”, in the words of the wise sage Kanye West.

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tommy: I have six good friends who are Muslim (seven if you count Amir Khalid, which I would like to do although I’ve never met him in person). Two are here, two live in Canada, and two have returned to their birth homes in west Africa. I can’t claim that any of them are “best” friends, but I am fond of all of them, as I think they ar of me, and over the last several years I have learned a huge amount about the faith they practice. And your experience is my experience: they are all gentle, loving, peaceful souls. But because all six of them are extremely dark-skinned, and the three women wear hijab, all have bumped up against this country’s racist past and present.

  61. 61
    A guy says:

    It’s fun to laugh at you people. All the answer with pea brains. You fit in well in today’s dumbed down society

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @lamh36: Yes, according to an article on the LawyersGunsandMoney blog and Wiki.

  63. 63
    Mr. Twister says:

    @marianne19: Did Lester Holt read that ?

  64. 64
    lamh36 says:

    Remembering the Charleston church shooting victims

  65. 65
    opiejeanne says:

    @A guy: Oh, fuck off.

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: A neighbor already described Roof as polite.

  67. 67
    opiejeanne says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I read that earlier and thought the comment was about Roof’s father.

  68. 68
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @opiejeanne: Just ignore him. Whenever I see his name, I just skip his comment.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @lamh36: That’s true but he can be charged under federal law. The police in Charleston called in the federal government.

  70. 70
    Baud says:


    As much as I hate our media, I’m impressed with the speed with which they can put that together.

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    So does our very own Southern Beale. Only she’s not nearly as polite.

  72. 72
    boatboy_srq says:


    I think he likes the notoriety. We all know his name tonight.

    That’s because he still thinks he did a good thing.

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @opiejeanne: From this article, it looks like it’s one of his friends who is talking about Roof.

  74. 74
    boatboy_srq says:

    @A guy: Tell it to Josh Duggar.

  75. 75
    boatboy_srq says:

    @raven: Isn’t that dogwhistle for “secession”?

  76. 76

    @lamh36: They do not, but this could fall under Federal purview. IANAL but he did cross state lines. Regardless, that’d just be tacking another 20 years onto the nine life sentences.

    @JPL: Relevance?

    @A guy: IQ’s have been rising steadily since we started measuring them, I’m not sure where you get “dumbed-down”.

  77. 77
    EthylEster says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Can someone interpret what Rand Paul said?

    Jesus Saves!

  78. 78
    MomSense says:


    Salt of the earth people. Lots of helping professions. Hopefully we can carve out a space to celebrate their lives from first to last breath without being overshadowed by this crime.

  79. 79
    shell says:

    Looks like Big Scary Bug monster movie night on TCM. ‘The Fly’, ‘Mothra’ and ‘Them!’.

  80. 80
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Chris T.: That is how Teahadists achieve shrinking [the parts of] government [they don’t like] when they’re in charge. Incompetence and indifference are valuable on that side of the aisle.

  81. 81
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    the little shit is in custody; one less vote for the GOP

  82. 82
    opiejeanne says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I always have until now. He didn’t strike a nerve with me because I’ve been married for 45 years, we raised 3 good kids who are now good citizens, but the sanctimonious asshattery from this guy who admits he is a lousy parent was just too much this time.

  83. 83

    @Germy Shoemangler: Huh, Vermont and Maine are the only states where felons can vote while in prison. The More You Know(tm)

  84. 84
    lamh36 says:

    @JPL: Ok, I watched I think Pete Williams who said this will likely be a state prosecution. So it will be federal laws, but state prosecutors who will be prosecuting?

  85. 85
    shell says:

    @A guy: You forgot to blame video games.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Unfortunately, they have plenty to spare.

  87. 87
    Baud says:


    No. State prosecution means state laws.

  88. 88

    @opiejeanne: I’m going to pie him in a bit but I kind of like the reminder that our opponents are complete idiots, for now.

  89. 89
    piratedan says:

    @A guy: needs a ban hammer. not even a very good troll

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Few months, I think. We’ve had a recent infestation.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @A guy:

    You forgot to say “Get off my lawn” and “Turn down that awful noise you call music.” Really, you’re not very good at this, are you?

  93. 93
    chopper says:

    @Terry Chay:

    yeah, we all know how neo-confederates are so atheist. whenever you see a confederate flag on some dude’s car you can be sure he’s a fuckin atheist.

  94. 94
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Patricia Kayden: “We don’t Belieeeeeeve hard enough!” Translation: all you non-FundiEvangelical-Xtian DFHs are the reason Good Patriotic Hetero Xtian Ahmurrcans run around with their guns shooting ni-CLANGs in their homes public parks their cars houses of worship places they didn’t oughter be. It’s a sign that the unGodly are among us, and are demanding we stop poisoning ourselves and treating other folk like game.

    At least that’s how I read it.

  95. 95
    SatanicPanic says:

    @A guy:

    All the answer with pea brains. You fit in well in today’s dumbed down society

    This is good. It bears repeating.

    All the answer with pea brains.

  96. 96
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I suppose it really is true that half the people one meets are below average intelligence. (H/T Katee Sackoff)

  97. 97
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It was actually in response to the troll you had linked to. Sorry..

  98. 98
    chopper says:

    @A guy:

    All the answer with pea brains

    hah! you make fun real good.

  99. 99
    D58826 says:

    What I find so utterly depressing about the events in Charleston is the utterly predictable reaction of faux news and the GOP. It’s not a racial thing it’s an attack on Christians. Not much has been said about the shooters background but he is white, lived in a small town in South Carolina and admired a political system (apartheid) that drew heavily from a conservative reading of the bible. If I had to guess i would think this guy is a Chritian, probably Sothern Baptist. So why would a Christian be declaring war on a church? Oh never mind i know the answer.

    The right has created entirely storyline out of smoke and still more smoke. I guess they figured that the war on Christmas was to limiting as it applied only for two months of the year. A War on Christians is good year round. What is so amazing is the number of people who fervently believe this pipe dream. Sure there are some legitimate policy issues around such things as the contraceptive exemption for religious organizations but that is not a war on Christians. Yet every GOOPer running for office is spouting this nonsense. We even have Catholic bishops, who surely know better, fanning the flames.

  100. 100
    boatboy_srq says:

    @SatanicPanic: Pea brains. Good with ketchup.

  101. 101
    NotMax says:


    Also Cornered at 6 a.m. Eastern time Friday. Unrepentant Nazis. Exotic locales. Cynical one liners. Stark lighting and off-kilter angles yoked to a murky plot. About as noir as film gets.

  102. 102
    JPL says:

    ABC news just mentioned that they are looking into whether Roof was influenced by hate groups. Duh..
    Maybe it’s time to look inside his own house since he wore badges linked to the white supremacy movement.

  103. 103

    @boatboy_srq: Not fava beans and a nice chianti?

  104. 104
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Those go with liver.

  105. 105
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @NotMax: Dick Powell did some amazing dramatic work after all the song and dance stuff of the 1930s.

    And a middle-aged Walter Slezak, always fun to watch.

  106. 106
  107. 107
    NotMax says:

    Hoary pun alert.


    Jesus Saves!

    But the Mongol hoards!


  108. 108
    boatboy_srq says:

    @lamh36: SC has laws?

    (only half kidding)

  109. 109
    Gimlet says:


    What I find so utterly depressing about the events in Charleston is the utterly predictable reaction of faux news and the GOP. It’s not a racial thing it’s an attack on Christians.

    Reminiscent of “they hate our freedom” rather than foreign policy.

  110. 110
    scav says:

    @boatboy_srq: They’ve got to have at least a couple of jaywalking and vaginal probe laws so certain sorts don’t get uppity and so there’s an on-the-books reason for cops to pull people aside before shooting them.

    scusi, not in a charitable mood.

  111. 111
    Gimlet says:


    Probably listened to Rush and Hannity every day.

  112. 112
    JPL says:

    @MomSense: What caused me tears was when I realized that we are at the point, as a nation, that we’d rather teach children to play dead, that tighten gun laws. A grandmother at the church had her granddaughter play dead. They both lived.
    Elizabeth was great today because she let us know what the Fox was saying and that kept me sane, in an odd way.

  113. 113
    lamh36 says:

    ICYMI: SC Congressman James Clyburn at AME Prayer vigil (Video)

  114. 114
    slag says:

    @D58826: That’s the rightwing mental leap: Yeah, 9 people were gunned down because of an unflagging allegiance to white supremacy but what about MEEEEEEEEEE?!?!?

  115. 115
    Tree With Water says:

    “…Bury the South together with this man,
    Bury the bygone South.
    Bury the minstrel with the honey-mouth,
    Bury the broadsword virtues of the clan,
    Bury the unmachined, the planters’ pride,
    The courtesy and the bitter arrogance,
    The pistol-hearted horsemen who could ride
    Like jolly centaurs under the hot stars.
    Bury the whip, bury the branding-bars,
    Bury the unjust thing
    That some tamed into mercy, being wise,
    But could not starve the tiger from its eyes
    Or make it feed where beasts of mercy feed.
    Bury the fiddle-music and the dance,
    The sick magnolias of the false romance
    And the chivalry that went to seed
    Before it’s ripening…”

    Stephen Vincent Benet
    John Brown’s Body

  116. 116
    MomSense says:


    I know. It’s insanity. As a parent you have to talk to your kids about hiding, being quiet, and playing dead,

    If you parent children who are black then you have to have the talk about the police.
    Heaven help us.

  117. 117
    Emma says:

    @A guy: No. We still won’t let you into the club.

  118. 118
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Tree With Water: That’s a powerful poem. Reminds me of this Neil Young song about the South:

  119. 119
    Turgidson says:

    I’ll give Stand with Rand credit. He can McGyver his empty-headed libertarian claptrap into just about any conceivable situation. What a tool.

  120. 120
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    And a middle-aged Walter Slezak, always fun to watch.

    His father was the great operatic tenor Leo Slezak.

  121. 121
    Turgidson says:


    And this poor excuse for a Senator is a deeply unserious candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination.


  122. 122
    LAC says:

    @A guy: DIAF, you stupid bitch

  123. 123
    lamh36 says:

    Here’s a shorter clip of Congressman Clyburn. It’d make a great bit for the next front page post on this tragedy.

    “People of ill will in our society, make a much better use of their time than those of good will. We will be made to repent not just for bad people…but the silence of good people. I come here today to beg you, when you leave these hallowed halls…please break your silence. Speak up! “

  124. 124
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I remember him as a Batman villain.

    I didn’t realize at the time how many 1930s and ’40s actors I was seeing as Batman villains.

    Most folks today think of Burgess Meredith as the guy on the Twilight Zone who breaks his glasses, or the Penguin, but in his day he was a fine actor and play director.

  125. 125
    Chris says:


    What I find so utterly depressing about the events in Charleston is the utterly predictable reaction of faux news and the GOP. It’s not a racial thing it’s an attack on Christians.

    What still amazes me, even though I know perfectly well that it’s been done a million times before, is that this just has to be fit into a framework where the victims were really conservative, or in some category that’s acceptable to conservatives. They can’t even just say “yes, this time a white racist killed a lot of black people, but black people kill white people too!” They can’t even say “yes, this was a hate crime, but look at all these other kinds of hate crimes!” They can’t even admit “yes, there is such a thing as racism, and this is an example of it” before going into how it’s an isolated incident that the liberals are blowing all out of proportion. Nope. According to them, there is literally no white racism, anywhere, even the most blatant acts of such must be denied – it’s not racism, it’s something else, a problem we can comfortably fold into our war with Teh Librulz.

    I mean, it would be ridiculously easy to spin this while still acknowledging the racism. The job is practically done for them. This wasn’t a police shooting, it wasn’t something that directly implicates any broader institutions of society. It’s a textbook “lone wolf” case. Just say that it was one guy, with no broader ties to society, and that while the shooting was white supremacist, racist, and tragic, it’s still the isolated act of one deranged man – the kind that people from all types of different backgrounds commit all the time with all kinds of different justifications. There. Done. It may not be true, but non-liberal whites will eat that shit up.

    But, no. They can’t even do that much. They have to deny that even this is racism.

    Amazingly, when Chris Rock asked “just what does a man have to do before it’s okay to say he’s a racist? Shoot Medgar Evers?” he was actually underestimating what it would take.

  126. 126
    gogol's wife says:


    What time is the next swan?

  127. 127
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I had not known (why would I?) that Clementa Pinckney had been an intern in Clyburn’s office many years ago.

  128. 128
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Chris: Here’s what gets me: My local newspaper, the online version. Articles appear and are usually followed by a string of reader comments. I see the same names, over and over. Majority of them are conservative commenters.

    Today, I click on the story about the church shooting.

    Not a single comment. Not one. They have nothing to say.

    Now if a black man had shot up a white baptist church, there’d be hundreds of comments.

    And the word “animal” would be tossed around in almost every comment.

  129. 129
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Turgidson: When all you have is a solipsistic reductionist anti-politics, everything looks like a nail.

  130. 130
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Hahaha, I was just going to mention that!! One of the great (although possibly, even likely, apocryphal) lines in operatic history!!

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Or they remember Meredith as the trainer in Rocky.

    Meredith was also blacklisted for a number of years during the Commie scare era.

  132. 132
    Gimlet says:

    Chauncey DeVega:

    1 What is radicalizing white men to commit such acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings? Are Fox News and the right-wing media encouraging violence?
    2 Is something wrong with the white family? Why are their sons and men so violent?
    3 What should law enforcement and white politicians do about white crime?
    4 Is the Charleston mass shooting just one more sign that America needs sensible and reasonable gun control policies?
    5 Where are the white fathers in the white home?
    6 When will white leadership step up and stop white right-wing domestic terrorism?
    7 Is White American culture pathological? Why is White America so violent?
    8 Are there appropriate role models for white men and boys? Could better role models and mentoring help to prevent white men and boys from committing mass shootings and being seduced by right-wing domestic terrorism?

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tree With Water: There was a kind of poetry — I associate it with Edgar Lee Masters and Vachel Lindsay, and Steven VIncent Benet — that used to be everywhere, especially in those big hard-covered anthologies high schools used, and is now as antique as Homer.

    I used to love it….

  134. 134
    NotMax says:

    @Germy Shoemangler

    There’s an episode of What’s My Line? (on which he was the mystery guest) wherein he danced with Arlene Francis (IIRC). For a hefty pear-shaped fellow he was quite light on his feet.

  135. 135
    slag says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And luckily, a nail is exactly the thing they need to attach themselves to that cross. Amazing how it always works out that way.

    Apparently, Rand Paul is just way to patriotic to support a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Quite honestly, short of a John Cole/Charles Johnson style conversion, I like them best when they’re like that.

    Being shocked into silence – into realizing that there’s nothing you can say that won’t make you look like a complete tool, even in your own eyes – is usually the closest I see conservatives to admitting they were wrong. The latter almost never happens anymore, but the former is still a thing.

  137. 137
    Elizabelle says:

    “Apparently he was a long-time racist.”

    And equates this with terrorism.

    And this is Bill O’Reilly speaking. And he’d be applauded on MSNBC or CNN.

    Yes. I have my ass parked in front of Fox again.

  138. 138
    Mike J says:

    Fred over at slacktivist points out:

    But the burning of black churches has never stopped. The National Church Arson Task Force in 1998 investigated “670 arsons, bombings or attempted bombings between January 1, 1995, and September 8, 1998″ targeting black churches throughout the United States. The most recent such statistic I can find is from 2002, when 240 such church arsons occured in the U.S. This is not ancient history. It hasn’t stopped.

  139. 139
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @A guy:

    Yes, because all crime has taken place since the new deal.

    You goddamned nitwit.

  140. 140
    n says:


    Also not averse to showing a little skin (pic from Such Good Friends).

  141. 141
    Elizabelle says:

    He’s got like Power Point talking points behind him.

    Is a lot of his audience deaf? So that’s where the Colbert graphics came from …

    “Unfortunately, President Obama strayed into the theoretical today …”

    [clip of PBO remarks]

    “of course, mass murder does happen in other countries.”

    …”PBO was misguided in his comments today, but that is a topic for another time”.

    Because focus should be on the victims. Not policy.

  142. 142
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Good. I need some relief from the mundane coverage of MSNBC.

    BTW.. A.O scott has his review up about the latest Pixar movie, Inside Out. This made me weepy eyed..
    “Inside Out” is an absolute delight — funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises. It is also a defense of sorrow, an argument for the necessity of melancholy dressed in the bright colors of entertainment. The youngest viewers will have a blast, while those older than Riley are likely to find themselves in tears. Not of grief, but of gratitude and recognition. Sadness, it turns out, is not Joy’s rival but her partner. Our ability to feel sad is what stirs compassion in others and empathy in ourselves. There is no growth without loss, and no art without longing.

  143. 143
    Elizabelle says:

    Bill O talks faster than I can type. Gist of his remarks was: we are a diverse country, and for the most part we are safe.

    Nothing to see. Move along here.

    Oh — and tomorrow we will inform you how that Nobama was wrong about this not happening in other countries.

    Le sigh.

    Now we’re on a drug ad.

  144. 144
    Elizabelle says:

    FYI: Angie’s list is a Fox advertiser.

    @JPL: FB friend informs the Despicable Me crew has a movie coming out about the secret life of our pets.

    Is that BJ catnip and dog treats or what?

    Now: MLK the third on with Bill O.

  145. 145
    Gavin says:

    @A guy:

    It’s more fun to laugh at Republicans. You have all the answers, but you are the problem.

  146. 146
    Belafon says:

    For all those people attempting to claim he’s a Democrat, there has only been one party spewing hatred of minorities during his lifetime: Republicans.

  147. 147
    Elizabelle says:

    They’re talking about MLK’s mom being gunned down in a church in 1974. And now about the little girls in Birmingham.

    @JPL: PS re MSNBC: I cannot take Chris Hayes shrilling at me. …

    Bill O points out the King grandmother was killed by a black man. That the problem is psychotics.

    No amount of legislation is going to stop psychotics. The govt can do nothing.

    Uh huh.

  148. 148
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: I am considering staging an intervention.

  149. 149
    Elizabelle says:

    MLK 3 talking about culture of violence.

    The word “gun” not uttered yet. Psychotics. Yes. And now video games.

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Give me your best Elvis Costello.

  151. 151
    WereBear says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: That is really telling.

  152. 152
    Elizabelle says:

    Snuff movies. That’s new.

    Bill O worries it’s desensitizing us.

    Um, what’s desensitizing us is all this gun violence and Fox and other NRA friends telling us there is nothing we can do.

    ETA: They haven’t shot us yet, personally. Get over it.

    I was typing better before 2 glasses of red wine.

  153. 153
    Elizabelle says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Thank you for telling us.

    I think this massacre shocked people down to their asses they park in pews.

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: Only one song fits.

  155. 155

    @Elizabelle: Tell the ‘safe country’ thing to the last couple people that assaulted me.

    Oh, wait, I live in an ‘urban’ area. I don’t count.

  156. 156
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I knew what it was going to be.

    Now Montel Wms on. Bill asks him to to discuss why Hillary comment’s were just the wrong time.

    There is never a right time for a Democrat to be talking about gun violence.

    I have figured that out in only one day of viewing.

  157. 157
    Elizabelle says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yeah.

    I think the word Montana was mentioned.

    You’re one of those commies.

    Now Bill O is schooling Montel on famous shooters. “That was Hinkley.”

    His point: you can’t stop them. Psychotics. You. cannot. do. anything.

  158. 158

    @Elizabelle: Dude, change the channel. You know the new season of Orange is the New Black is up on Netflix right? If you’re more of an anime type I can recommend Psycho-Pass or Sword Art Online. And there’s always Arrested Development.

  159. 159
    Elizabelle says:

    It’s crazy guys, peeps.

    And politicians dividing people further. And they’re going to get into that tomorrow.

    Because today is not the day.

    And I don’t think Bill has used the word “gun” outright yet. Maybe he has. Montel just said gun.

  160. 160
    Elizabelle says:

    Now we’re all Amish.

    “We have to make these idiots pariahs.”

    [but don’t take away their guns]

  161. 161
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Brinsley Schwarz (feat. Nick Lowe).

    I wish we could clone Nick & Elvis and unleash them as a duo on every generation.

  162. 162
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: Less than Zero as a B-side.

  163. 163
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: Being shocked into silence – into realizing that there’s nothing you can say that won’t make you look like a complete tool, even in your own eyes – is usually the closest I see conservatives to admitting they were wrong.

    I agree. When they shut up, you’ve gotten to them.

  164. 164
    Elizabelle says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I know. I should. Not doing Netflix yet, but I will. Soon. Still have cable. Any points for owning a copy of OITNB, which I’ve not yet cracked?

  165. 165
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Elvis C is touring with Steely Dan this summer. How good could that be?

  166. 166
    Elizabelle says:

    New thread up. About criminal negligence.

    Maybe about Roof pere buying young Roof the gun? Inquiring minds …

  167. 167
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Netflix doesn’t have a contract. As long as you have a way to stream, just join for a few months.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Elizabelle: Wow.

  169. 169
    Chris says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Dude, change the channel.

    I used to peruse the PJMedia headlines everyday soon after the Obama election. It was the days when the teabaggers had erupted as this big thing, and I still was still young and stupid enough at the time to have some illusions that “hey, it’s important to listen to the other side, even if they’re completely badly wrong.”

    After you’d perused it for long enough, the outrage will pass. You won’t even become numbed to it, so much as you’ll become bored with it. Conservatives are just not creative fucking people, and after a while their ravings just become white noise.

    ETA: hee. “White noise.” Pardon the pun.

  170. 170

    @Elizabelle: Cheaper to just get Netflix streaming and watch it! But if you already own it, I’d say: watch it! You’ve got Captain Janeway and everything. Of course, she’s a Russian cook this time ’round.

  171. 171
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris: White noise.


  172. 172
    Sondra says:

    Here are some other paragraphs from that NYTimes story:

    An officer from a large metropolitan area said that “militias, neo-Nazis and sovereign citizens” are the biggest threat we face in regard to extremism. One officer explained that he ranked the right-wing threat higher because “it is an emerging threat that we don’t have as good of a grip on, even with our intelligence unit, as we do with the Al Shabab/Al Qaeda issue, which we have been dealing with for some time.” An officer on the West Coast explained that the “sovereign citizen” anti-government threat has “really taken off,” whereas terrorism by American Muslim is something “we just haven’t experienced yet.”

    Last year, for example, a man who identified with the sovereign citizen movement — which claims not to recognize the authority of federal or local government — attacked a courthouse in Forsyth County, Ga., firing an assault rifle at police officers and trying to cover his approach with tear gas and smoke grenades. The suspect was killed by the police, who returned fire. In Nevada, anti-government militants reportedly walked up to and shot two police officers at a restaurant, then placed a “Don’t tread on me” flag on their bodies. An anti-government extremist in Pennsylvania was arrested on suspicion of shooting two state troopers, killing one of them, before leading authorities on a 48-day manhunt. A right-wing militant in Texas declared a “revolution” and was arrested on suspicion of attempting to rob an armored car in order to buy weapons and explosives and attack law enforcement. These individuals on the fringes of right-wing politics increasingly worry law enforcement officials.

    Law enforcement agencies around the country are training their officers to recognize signs of anti-government extremism and to exercise caution during routine traffic stops, criminal investigations and other interactions with potential extremists. “The threat is real,” says the handout from one training program sponsored by the Department of Justice. Since 2000, the handout notes, 25 law enforcement officers have been killed by right-wing extremists, who share a “fear that government will confiscate firearms” and a “belief in the approaching collapse of government and the economy.”

    Despite public anxiety about extremists inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, the number of violent plots by such individuals has remained very low. Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.

    In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.

    Public debates on terrorism focus intensely on Muslims. But this focus does not square with the low number of plots in the United States by Muslims, and it does a disservice to a minority group that suffers from increasingly hostile public opinion. As state and local police agencies remind us, right-wing, anti-government extremism is the leading source of ideological violence in America.”

    So my question is, will our very own right wing finally start talking about this form of terrorism – the domestic variety? Will they finally endorse some form of gun control that makes it impossible for ordinary citizens to buy assault rifles, tear gas, grenades and the other assortment of military hardware and ammunition?

    Personally, I doubt it. They will whine about the 2nd amendment. But if the job of our Government is to keep us safe from attack, doesn’t it follow that the one area over which Government can certainly exert more control is here at home?

  173. 173
    Paul in KY says:

    @Trollhattan: If she did that, I might like her a little more.

  174. 174
    Paul in KY says:

    @LWA (Liberal With Attitude): They are doing the ‘lone wolf’ crap that that shitstain of a book ‘The Turner Diaries’ talks about.

  175. 175
    Paul in KY says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: You should put that in a comment there.

  176. 176
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gimlet: Excellent points all.

Comments are closed.