"Are You an 'Extremist'?" by Thomas Sowell: My Response

By Glenn

Somehow I got on a right-wing email distribution list. Usually this means I get forwarded cute cartoons with Obama wearing a turban or requests for people to call our elected representatives and vote against something Obama supports. I also get straight up article forwards from conservative idiots making disingenuous points so often it's like they're bullets in another American shooting. Recently an article by Thomas Sowell about a Department of Homeland Security Memo about potential right-wing extremists got right-wing extremists who use a computer instead of C4 upset.

Are You an ‘Extremist’?
By Thomas Sowell

While the rest of us may be worried about violent Mexican drug gangs on our border, or about terrorists who are going to be released from Guantanimo, the Director of Homeland Security is worried about "right-wing extremists."

She's worried about both. This is a false dichotomy. Also, there are people in Guantanamo who are not terrorists. One point against you for intellectual dishonesty.

Just who are these right-wing extremists?

You. And people like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph.

According to an official document of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, right-wing extremists include "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration." It also includes those "rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority."

If you fit into any of these categories, you may not have realized that you are considered a threat to national security. But apparently the Obama administration has its eye on you.

No they don't. Get over yourself.

According to the same official document, the Department of Homeland Security "has no specific information that domestic right-wing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence." But somehow they just know that you right-wingers are itching to unleash terror somewhere, somehow.

Some are! That's the point. Security is about being prepared for threats, like how Bush took seriously that August memo about Al Qaeda and stopped 9-11 from happening.

So-called "honor killings" by Muslims in the United States, including a recent beheading of his wife by a leader of one of the American Muslim organizations, does not seem to arouse any concern by the Department of Homeland Security.

I'm glad you found a way to insult Muslims, but this is another false dichtonomy. Since when did the DHS, FBI, etc become so slow and stupid that it can only focus on one threat at a time? And "honor killings" didn't blow up a federal building in 1995.

When it comes to the thuggery of ACORN — its members harassing the homes of bankers and even the home of Senator Phil Gramm when he opposed things that ACORN favored — the Department of Homeland Security apparently sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil.

I don't know what this is referring to, but I assume it is false. ACORN is #2 on the list of things every right wing moron must mention to be taken seriously amongst the choir. Phil Gramm helped push through repeal of Glass-Steagall, so I don't have a lot of sympathy for him.

Maybe they are too busy worrying about right-wing "extremists" who don't like abortions or illegal immigration, or who favor the division of power between the state and federal governments established by the Constitution.

In one sense, the Department of Homeland Security paper is silly. In another sense, it can be sinister as a revealing and disturbing sign of the preoccupations and priorities of this administration — and their willingness to witch hunt and demonize those who dare to disagree with them.

Absolutely incorrect. During the Clinton administration we had Waco, Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City. These are the kind of people who are threats to public safety. If you are just a pro-life Southern housewife who sits at home and prays for the souls of aborted feti, you have nothing to worry about. Except the fact that you're an idiot and everything you believe is probably wrong and reactionary.

Reportedly, the FBI and the Defense Department are cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security in investigations of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. That people who have put their lives on the line for this country are made the target of what is called the Vigilant Eagle program suggests that this administration might be more of a threat than the people they are investigating.

You are an idiot. Timothy McVeigh was a veteran. This is the rhetorical equivalent of saying wives of returning Iraq veterans shouldn't be allowed to get restraining orders against their husbands because we have to show them reverence.

All this activity takes on a more sinister aspect against the background of one of the statements of Barack Obama during last year's election campaign that got remarkably little attention in the media. He suggested the creation of a federal police force, comparable in size to the military.

Why such an organization? For what purpose?

I've heard this thrown about by paranoid right wing lunatics but still can't find what they're referencing. And talking about sinister plots is a great way to encourage right wing extremism.

Since there are state and local police forces all across the country, an FBI to investigate federal crimes and a Department of Justice to prosecute those who commit them, as well as a Defense Department with military forces, just what role would a federal police force play?

None. That's why no one has proposed it.

Maybe it was just one of those bright ideas that gets floated during an election campaign. Yet there was no grassroots demand for any such federal police nor any media clamor for it, so there was not even any political reason to suggest such a thing.

What would be different about a new federal police force, as compared to existing law enforcement and military forces? It would be a creation of the Obama administration, run by people appointed from top to bottom by that administration — and without the conflicting loyalties of those steeped in existing military traditions and law enforcement traditions.

In short, a federal police force could become President Obama's personal domestic political army, his own storm troopers.

I appreciate the Star Wars reference but you're still revealing yourself to be a fool. Talk about paranoid! It was Sinclair Lewis who said "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Obama spits on the flag and is a Muslim.

Perhaps there will never be such a federal police force. But the targeting of individuals and groups who believe in some of the fundamental values on which this country was founded, and people who have demonstrated their patriotism by volunteering for military service, suggests that this potential for political abuse is worth watching, as Obama tries to remake America to fit his vision.

Such sad drivel. Opposing illegal immigration by taking the law into your own hands is not what this country was founded on, nor is bombing of abortion clinics. Abortion clinics didn't even exist in the late 18th century - except maybe in Massachusetts.

If Obama is trying to remake America to fit his vision, I've yet to see it. Unless you mean talking about how we can persevere through this economic crisis or how we need a shared sense of community. Those truly are ideas of the next great dictator.


  1. "Obama spits on the flag and is a Muslim."

    You forgot to add "at Bill Ayers' backyard BBQs."

  2. Josh, your name is close enough to this writer's that you need to be watching your back.

  3. This is like He Said, She said. And you're the girl!

  4. this was gr8 glenn. i can't tell you how many FB statuses i've seen saying this same "obama thinks i'm a terrorist!" bullshit.

  5. Security is about being prepared for threats, like how Bush took seriously that August memo about Al Qaeda and stopped 9-11 from happening.

    This is the best thing I've read all week.