Ricin "terror plot": Four in Ga. accused of planning "militia" attacks
This will give Leftists a horn but will probably go the way of the Hutaree Militia case: A government setup. The Hutaree case is so poor that the Feds keep postponing a trial -- hoping for a plea bargain, no doubt
Four men in Georgia intended to use an online novel as a script for a real-life wave of terror and assassination using explosives and the lethal toxin ricin, according to court documents.
Federal agents raided their north Georgia homes Tuesday and arrested them on charges of conspiring to plan the attacks.
Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68, are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Relatives of two of the men said the charges were baseless.
Court documents accused the men of trying to obtain an explosive device and a silencer to carry out targeted attacks on government buildings and employees. Two of the men are also accused of trying to seek out a formula to produce ricin, a biological toxin that can be lethal in small doses.
Thomas' wife, Charlotte, told The Associated Press that the charges were "baloney." "He spent 30 years in the U.S. Navy. He would not do anything against his country," she said. "He loves his country."
Thomas, who is portrayed as the ringleader, talked of modeling the actions on the online novel "Absolved," which involves small groups of citizens attacking U.S. officials, according to court documents. It was written by former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh, who wrote on his blog Wednesday that his book was fiction and said he was skeptical a "pretty geriatric" militia could carry out the attacks the men were accused of planning.
Adams also arranged to buy what they thought was an explosive device and a silencer from an undercover agent. The men were arrested days after a lab test confirmed they had trace amounts of ricin in their possession, authorities said.
"While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
Federal investigators have monitored the group since at least March 17, when a confidential source recorded a meeting of the fringe group at Thomas' two-story house in Cleveland, a small town in the mountains of north Georgia. Thomas boasted of making a "bucket list" of government employees, politicians, businessman and media members that he felt needed to be "taken out."
It's not clear from the court documents exactly how the men obtained the trace amounts of ricin. [planted by the Feds?]
Thomas' wife said her husband was a Navy veteran, while Roberts' wife Margaret said her husband retired from the sign business and lives on pensions. She said FBI agents showed up Tuesday with a search warrant and went through her home, handcuffing her and taking a computer and other items.
"He's never been in trouble with the law. He's not anti-government," she said. "He would never hurt anybody."
Payday loan economics
By Thomas Sowell
California is a great place for studying the thinking -- or lack of thinking -- on the political left. The mindset of the left was recently displayed in a big, front-page story in the October 30th issue of the San Mateo County Times. It was an investigative reporter's expose of the "payday loan" business and its lobbyists.
According to the reporter: "In California lenders charge up to $45 in fees on a maximum $300 loan. This amounts to an interest rate of 460 percent, trapping some borrowers into a never-ending cycle of debt."
Let's take this one step at a time. Whatever the merits or demerits of the rest of the argument, $45 is not going to trap anyone in a never-ending cycle of debt, even if they are making only the bare minimum wage. Personal irresponsibility in managing money can trap anyone, but that is regardless of whether or not they take out payday loans.
Now to the 460 percent rate of interest. You don't need higher math to figure out that $45 is 15 percent of $300. How did we get to 460 percent? Very simple: By distorting the actual conditions of most payday loans.
As the name might suggest, payday loans are short-term loans to tide people over until they get their next check, whether a salary check, a welfare check or whatever. Payday loans are relatively small sums of money borrowed for very short periods of time, often by low-income people who want some cash right now, for whatever reason.
Is it worth paying the $45 to get the $300 right now, rather than wait a couple of weeks for your check to arrive?
No third party can know that. But taking decisions out of the hands of those most directly affected is one of the central patterns of the political left that make them dangerous to the very people they think they are helping. This is not idealism. It is arrogance -- and too often, it is ignorant arrogance, as in this case.
The 460 percent figure comes from imagining that the borrower is not just going to borrow the money for a couple of weeks, but is going to keep on borrowing every couple of weeks all year long.
Using this kind of reasoning -- or lack of reasoning -- you could quote the price of salmon as $15,000 a ton or say a hotel room rents for $36,000 a year, when no consumer buys a ton of salmon and few people stay in a hotel room all year. It is clever propaganda, but do people buy newspapers to be propagandized?
What about the $45 that is at the heart of all this runaway rhetoric? Does that do more than cover the risk and the costs of processing the loan? Apparently our crusading investigative reporter did not find that worth investigating, even in a long article taking up another page and a half inside the newspaper.
What is called "interest" by the media includes things that an economist would not call interest. The fees charged must also cover the cost of processing the loan, which is to say the pay of people doing the work, the rent of the premises and other overhead expenses, as well as the risk of default.
But mundane facts like these would spoil the moral melodrama, starring the reporter on the side of the angels against the forces of evil.
Instead, we get the story of how the payday loan industry, like most other industries, has lobbyists contributing money to politicians to try to get spared more regulations. This the investigative reporter calls "protecting" the payday loan industry.
Protecting them from what? From the politicians. Some would call their campaign donations "protection money," in the same sense in which the Mafia collects protection money.
None of this is peculiar to this industry, to California or to our times. When Al Gore was Vice-President of the United States, he phoned businesses from the White House to tell them how much money he expected them to contribute to political campaigns.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's son extorted a $200,000 loan from a grocery chain that was under federal investigation -- and he never repaid the loan. Moreover, FDR spoke directly to the head of the chain to seal the deal.
There are not a lot of angels to be on the side of.
Why Our Blacks are Better Than Their Blacks
By spending the last three decades leveling accusations of "racism" every 10 seconds, liberals have made it virtually impossible for Americans to recognize real racism -- for example, the racism constantly spewed at black conservatives.
In the last year alone, a short list of the things liberals have labeled "racist" include:
-- Being a Republican;
-- Joining the tea party;
-- The word "the" (Donald Trump's statement that he has a "great relationship with the blacks");
-- References to Barack Obama's playing basketball (Trump again);
-- Using Obama's middle name;
-- Scott Brown's pickup truck;
-- Opposing Obamacare;
-- Opposing Obama's stimulus bill;
-- Opposing Obama's jobs bill.
The surge in conservative support for Herman Cain confuses the Democrats' story line, which is that Republicans hate Obama because he's black.
Cain is twice as black as Obama. (Possible Obama campaign slogan: "Too Black!")
This is why the liberal website Politico ran with a story on Cain that had everything -- a powerful black man, a Republican presidential candidate, the hint of sexuality -- except facts.
All we learned was: About a decade ago, as many as two anonymous women accused Cain of making unspecified "inappropriate" remarks and one "inappropriate" gesture in the workplace. (We had more than that on John Edwards' mistress a year into the media's refusal to report that story.)
If the details helped liberals, we'd have the details.
To have been accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s is like having been accused of molesting children at preschools in the 1980s or accused of being a witch in Massachusetts in the 1690s.
In the 1990s, one plaintiff won a $50 million jury verdict against Wal-Mart on the grounds that a "hostile environment" was created by her supervisor's yelling at both male and female employees. In another case, a plaintiff won a $250,000 award for sexual harassment based on her complaint that a male colleague had reached for a pastry saying, "Nothing I like more in the morning than sticky buns," while "wriggl(ing)" his eyebrows.
It got so crazy that a 6-year-old boy was suspended from class for a day for kissing a classmate on the cheek, and a Goya painting had to be removed from a Penn State classroom because a professor complained that it constituted sexual harassment.
With no standard other than the subjective offense taken by the accuser, absolutely anyone could be called a witch, i.e., a sexual harasser. So it's striking that the only two conservative public figures accused of being witches both happened to be conservative blacks: Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain.
Liberals go straight to ugly racist stereotypes when attacking conservative blacks, calling them oversexualized, stupid and/or incompetent.
The late, lamented, white liberal reporter Mary McGrory called Justice Antonin Scalia "a brilliant and compelling extremist" -- while dismissing Thomas as "Scalia's puppet."
More recently, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid called Scalia "one smart guy." In the next breath, he proclaimed Thomas "an embarrassment to the Supreme Court," adding, "I think that his opinions are poorly written."
When Bush made Condoleezza Rice the first black female secretary of state, terror swept through the Democratic Party. What if people began to notice and ask questions: "Who's that black woman always standing with George Bush?" Never mind! He's probably arresting her.
In addition to an explosion of racist cartoons portraying Rice as Aunt Jemima, Butterfly McQueen from "Gone With the Wind," a fat-lipped Bush parrot and other racist cliches, allegedly respectable liberals promptly called her stupid and incompetent.
Joseph Cirincione, then with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Rice "doesn't bring much experience or knowledge of the world to this position." (Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose experience for the job consisted of being married to an impeached, disbarred former president.)
Democratic consultant Bob Beckel -- who ran Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign so competently that Mondale lost 49 states -- said of Rice, "I don't think she's up to the job."
When Michael Steele ran for senator in Maryland in 2006, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dug up a copy of his credit report -- something done to no other Republican candidate. He was depicted in black face with huge red lips by liberal blogger Steve Gilliard. Oreo cookies were rolled down the aisle at Steele during a gubernatorial debate in 2002.
Trafficking in racist imagery is consequence-free for liberals because they have ruined charges of "racism" with their own overuse of the term. By now, any accusation of racism has the feel of a Big Foot sighting.
It's a neat trick, rather as if the Nazis had called everything "genocide" right before launching the Holocaust, and then admonished resisters not to "play the genocide card."
Liberals step on black conservatives early and often because they can't have black children thinking, "Hmmm, the Republicans have some good ideas; maybe I'm a Republican."
The basic setup is:
Step 1: Spend 30 years telling blacks that Republicans are racist and viciously attacking all black Republicans.
Step 2: Laugh maliciously at Republicans for not having more blacks in their party.
It is beyond insane that Herman Cain would have considered running for president if he had the tiniest skeleton in his closet. To be an out-of-the-closet black Republican, you had better be a combination rocket scientist/Baptist preacher. Which, as it happens, Cain is.
Meanwhile, MSNBC is cutting into its prime-time programming to announce updates in the fact-free hit on Cain. That's not because anyone there thinks he'll be the nominee. Everyone knows it's going to be Mitt Romney.
But liberals are determined to make sure that, six months from now, everyone has forgotten Herman Cain so they can go back to claiming Republicans oppose Obama because they hate blacks.
Syria signs Arab League deal to pull back military: "Under intense pressure from Arab states, Syria has signed a pact to pull its armed forces from the streets, release political prisoners and engage with opposition groups after seven months of unrest that has ravaged the strategically situated nation and unsettled the entire region. On the surface, the move appears to be a major concession from an increasingly isolated President Bashar Assad, who has been the target of international condemnation and sanctions."
UK: Court rules against Assange in extradition case: "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost a skirmish in his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden today, but has a two-week window in which to seek permission for an appeal to the supreme court. Assange has not been charged with any crime and alleges that the extradition request, for questioning on alleged sex crimes, is politically motivated."
Israel signals attack on Iran: "An Israeli official said Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to persuade his Cabinet to authorize a military strike against Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program -- a discussion that comes as Israel successfully tests a missile believed capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to Iran. It remained unclear whether Israel was genuinely poised to strike or if it was saber-rattling to prod the international community into taking a tougher line on Iran."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)