Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 10:13 pm
Been away. Glad to be back.

I looked around, was surprised I couldn't find a thread on the Department of Homeland Security report on right wing extremists...

If I missed it, my apologies. But wow...

Heard any comparisons to the Nazi Party in 1933 Germany and the Democrat Party in 2009 America?

How about here, from the NY Times: (Not the comparison they were trying for, I guess, but nonetheless...)

Quote:

Stimulus Thinking, and Nuance
By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: March 31, 2009

Every so often, history serves up an analogy that’s uncomfortable, a little distracting and yet still very relevant.

In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.

More than any other country, Germany " Nazi Germany " then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.

The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later). Harold James, an economic historian, says that the young liberal economists studying under John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s began to debate whether Hitler had solved unemployment.

No sane person enjoys mixing nuance and Nazis, but this bit of economic history has a particular importance this week. In the run-up to the G-20 meeting, European leaders have resisted calls for more government spending. Last week, the European Union president, Mirek Topolanek, echoed a line from AC/DC " whom he had just heard in concert " and described the Obama administration’s stimulus plan as “a road to hell.”

Here in the United States, many people are understandably wondering whether the $800 billion stimulus program will make much of a difference. They want to know: Does stimulus work? Fortunately, this is one economic question that’s been answered pretty clearly in the last century.

Yes, stimulus works.

When governments have taken aggressive steps to soften an economic decline, they have succeeded. The Germans did it in the 1930s. Franklin D. Roosevelt did so more haltingly, and had more halting results. Even the limp Japanese recovery plan of the 1990s makes the case. Although dithering over a bank rescue kept Japan in a slump, government spending on roads and bridges made things better than they otherwise would have been.

No matter what happens in London on Thursday, President Obama and other world leaders are sure to claim the meeting as a success. (“I do not regard the economic conference as a failure,” Roosevelt said in 1933.)

But if the meeting is going to be an actual success, it will have to do more than put a happy face on trans-Atlantic disagreements. It will need to begin nudging the discussion about stimulus toward a more accurate reading of history.

The Americans and Europeans aren’t really as far apart as Mr. Topolanek’s AC/DC homage suggests. Europe is doing less than the United States, but the gap isn’t huge. It just seems so because European stimulus tends to arrive quietly, from existing safety net programs. In this country, where the safety net is weaker, stimulus comes largely from new laws.

Yet the rhetoric from Europe " even the more subdued recent remarks, like those of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany " still creates a problem. Stimulus skepticism today will make it harder to pass more stimulus tomorrow. And more will probably be needed.

George Soros, the billionaire investor who was born in Budapest and works in New York, came to Washington last week and captured both the problem and the potential for a solution. “I think they can be brought around,” he said of the Europeans. “I am actually hopeful something constructive can happen.”



The objections to stimulus tend to come in two forms: Its costs are too high, and its benefits too small.

Mr. Topolanek and German officials have been pressing the first argument. They say that the additional government spending can lead to inflation and government debt. The Weimar Republic of the 1920s, where inflation helped lead to Hitler’s rise, casts a long shadow.

Stimulus opponents here in the United States " mainly Congressional Republicans (though not, tellingly, Republican governors of some large states) " have been warning about debt, too. But they have also been making the second argument. When the government spends money, they say, it simply displaces spending by the private sector. Republicans on Capitol Hill have taken to citing a recent book by the journalist Amity Shlaes, “The Forgotten Man,” which claims the New Deal didn’t work.

Theoretically, neither of these arguments is crazy. But they don’t have much evidence on their side.

The best takedown of Ms. Shlaes’s thesis came from Eric Rauchway, a historian, who pointed out that her favorite statistic did not count people employed by New Deal programs to be employed. Excluding the effects of the medicine, the patient is as sick as ever!

When Roosevelt stuck to a stimulus program, unemployment fell markedly, and the biggest stimulus of all " World War II " did the rest. It’s true that economic models say the economy shouldn’t work this way. When resources are sitting idle, businesses should find a way to use them profitably. But they often don’t.

People become irrationally pessimistic during a downturn. They are driven by what Keynes called animal spirits. Only government can typically change the dynamic.

Could the government spending eventually lead to inflation and crippling debts? Absolutely. But the mistakes of the last 80 years have gone in the other direction. During the Great Depression, Japan’s lost decade, the Asian financial crisis and even the last 18 months, governments didn’t act aggressively enough. Deflation and lack of growth ended up being the real risks.

These are precisely the risks facing the world economy now. In Spain, prices are already falling. Layoffs are still mounting around the world. Financial firms have more losses to acknowledge.

Given the diminished standing of the United States, Mr. Obama won’t be able to get the Europeans to fall in line behind him this week. But he can still make progress. He and the American delegation can, in gentle terms, ask the Europeans to live up to their own standard " and remind them of their self-interest.

Two weeks ago, responding to criticism, an executive of the European Central Bank wrote a letter to an Italian newspaper claiming, “fiscal stimulus in European countries is wholly comparable to that seen in the United States.” That simply isn’t true, as the chart at right makes clear. The difference amounts to about $200 billion over three years.

Because the global economy is in many ways integrated, Europe can benefit from American stimulus without pulling its own weight. But because the global economy isn’t completely integrated, European stimulus would still help Europe more than anywhere else. And that presents the American delegation with perhaps its most persuasive case.

Right now, Eastern Europe appears to be one of the world’s most vulnerable places. It is a relatively poor region, where the population is disaffected and where the economy is shrinking rapidly. In both Estonia and Latvia, the gross domestic product fell 10 percent last year.

At the G-20, the leaders of the richer European countries will be asking the world to help Eastern Europe. By all means, the world should help. But Europe should reconsider its part, too.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/business/economy/01leonhardt.html?_r=1


And then we have Dana Milbank from the Washington Post, talking about the angry left:

Quote:

Dear Reader:

I wish to apologize to you for my behavior last week.

On Tuesday, I learned that I am a right-wing hack. I am not a journalist. I am typical of the right wing. I am why newspapers are going broke. I write garbage. I am angry with Barack Obama. I misquote Obama. I am bitter. I am a certified idiot. I am lame. I am a Republican flack.

On Thursday, I realized that I am a media pimp with my lips on Obama's butt. I am a bleeding-heart liberal who wants nothing more than for the right to fall on its face. I am part of the ObamaMedia. I am pimping for the left. I am carrying water for Obama. Lord, am I an idiot.

I discovered all this from the helpful feedback provided to me in the "reader comments" section at the end of my past four columns on washingtonpost.com. I undertook this exercise on the advice of former washingtonpost.com editor Doug Feaver, who wrote on these pages recently that journalists need to take the comments seriously ["Listening to the Dot-Comments," op-ed, April 9]. Further, he added in his blog, "those who don't are making a mistake."

Now, I may be a pimp and an idiot -- but I did not want to make a mistake. So I reviewed all 1,800 comments posted on my columns over the course of a week. As a sociological experiment, it was fascinating.

The comments are naturally an unscientific indicator, but the impression I got is consistent with what I've heard from colleagues: The vitriol of last year's presidential campaign has outlasted the election. For the right, this isn't terribly surprising; their guys lost the White House in 2008 and control of both chambers of Congress in 2006, so lashing out in frustration is to be expected. The left, however, is more difficult to explain. It made sense for them to be angry when George W. Bush was in the White House. But now, even under Obama, the anger on the left is, if anything, more personal and vitriolic than on the right.

A reader in an online chat brought this to my attention a couple of months ago, noting the animosity in the comments following a column. "Did you torture their cats and grandmothers? Most of the truly unhinged comments appear to come from Democrats, who apparently think you're Cindy McCain in reverse drag."

I replied that, to keep my blood pressure under control, I don't read the comments, and that I did, in fact, torture their cats.

Well, last week I read the comments. On April 10, I wrote a column about an Obama appearance urging Americans to refinance their mortgages -- a fairly gentle piece pointing out that the president sounded like a LendingTree.com pitchman. The comments compared me to Bernard Goldberg and Glenn Beck. One complained that "I gave Bush and the Republicans a pass."

Actually, a National Review column called me "the most anti-Bush reporter" in the White House press corps, but never mind that. "Uh oh, Milbank," wrote commenter "farfalle44." "Now the Obamabots have labeled you an Obama hater -- watch out!"

For Thursday's column, I criticized the "tea party" outside the White House. Conservatives left hundreds of indignant comments -- I was an Obama "lap dog" and "licking Obama's shoes" -- but that didn't buy me credibility with the left. "You do a real good job of attracting all the ill-informed, mathematically challenged, left-wing haters," said one reader. "I bet ya mom's really proud!"

So why is the left so angry? I don't know (I'm an idiot), so I put the question to the readers in my weekly online chat on Friday.

A reader from Rockville described it as a "sore winner" phenomenon. "People get used to being angry and when things change, they don't. So they find stuff to be mad about." Another said that some on the left "feel obligated to stay in the fight" because of the harsh treatment of Obama by the right.

But many focused on a frustration on the left caused by Obama's centrism -- his opposition to prosecuting those involved with torture, for example. "I am angry because the whole Republican party has not been rounded up and thrown into a black site," one wrote. A reader in Evanston, Ill., took a similar view, that true believers on the left don't want "b.s. rhetoric about looking forward." Okay, but why wouldn't this be directed at Obama? Readers explained that some of it is. But, "if we yell obscenities at Obama," replied a reader in Dunnellon, Fla., "we get a visit from the Secret Service. Yelling them at you is worry-free."

So the angry left should thank me: I'm taking one for the team.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/17/AR2009041702639_pf.html


I especially liked this part from an angry lib:

"I am angry because the whole Republican party has not been rounded up and thrown into a black site," one wrote.

As some A2K leftists have said here, they wouldn't blink if this happened. Those on the left can be as repressive as those on the far right when their type of government is in control. Maybe more so, with their lack of diversity in thoughts and beliefs and their lack of liberty when it comes to the individual.

In 1933 the Nazi Party outlawed opposition groups. Looks like the Obama Admin is well on their way to attempting this, aren't they, in light of their DHS report?
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 05:51 am
The government has been targeting and spying on anti-war protesters and I haven't heard nearly this much objection to it as I have over the HLS saying there is concern about right wing extremist targeting returning vets. Even the Bush administration was concerned about it.

Pentagon’s domestic spying operations target opponents of Iraq war



from George Bush’s FBI and DOD, detailing the problem of far-right extremists infiltrating the US military, and trying to recruit former members of the US military.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 08:09 am
@A Lone Voice,
That DHS report was requested by the Bush admin, I believe, and took a little longer than just two months to write.

Let us not hyperventilate, mkay?

Cycloptichorn
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 08:15 am
Nice logic there, ALV. Let's see if I can do it too:

http://images.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20090412/293.Obama.Dog.041209.jpg http://www.workingservicedogs.com/postcardimgs/hitlersdogbl.jpg

Obama likes dogs. Hitler liked dogs. Therefore, Obama is Hitler.

Yep, that makes about as much sense.
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:07 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

That DHS report was requested by the Bush admin, I believe, and took a little longer than just two months to write.

Let us not hyperventilate, mkay?

Cycloptichorn



So the Bush White House would have allowed the report to be issued as written, in your opinion?

Or would the political slant have been taken out?

This is the kind of report I would expect from a shrewd politician weaned on the knuckles and snot politics of Chicago.

DHS appears to be turning into a political arm of the Obama White House. Bad news for the country when stuff like this is allowed to occur, don't you think?
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:12 am
@joefromchicago,
Gosh, I was just quoting our favorite liberal rag, the NY Times...

Oh, and the lefty loon who wanted all repubs thrown into camps.

Would these be reeducation camps, btw?

Hey Joe, what do you think of the Obama White House taking control of the US Census? First time in history an admin has done something like this.

No ill intent here. We love Obama. He's captured our imagination, hasn't he?
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:13 am
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
Been away. Glad to be back.

That makes one of us....
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:16 am
@A Lone Voice,
Quote:

DHS appears to be turning into a political arm of the Obama White House. Bad news for the country when stuff like this is allowed to occur, don't you think?


Never heard you say **** about Bush using every agency as a political arm of the White House. Not once. So save it, okay? You're pissed b/c your party has been kicked way out of power and now the other guys are running the show. Better get used to it, instead of this childish puling.

Cycloptichorn
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:19 am
It is a rare thing when someone Godwin's their own thread in the initial post.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:34 am
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
Oh, and the lefty loon who wanted all repubs thrown into camps.

Would these be reeducation camps, btw?

Unlikely. In order for Republicans to be sent to reeducation camps, they'd need to be educated in the first place.
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:48 am
@DrewDad,
What, you don't enjoy the give and take of a political discussion? The exchange of ideas, expanding your thoughts, a diversity of beliefs?

Oh, I forgot.

You're a liberal.
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:55 am
@Cycloptichorn,
You have me heard me, many times, talk about what a moron I thought Bush was. I didn't like the way he imposed his religious beliefs in the government, and I disagree with the repub stance on gay marriage and abortion. (Look at some of my discussions with DTOM if you must).

Just curious, do you agree with the DHS report? Do you think its appropriate? Even with the Bush admin misdeeds, such as Patriot Act (which I have disagreed with here), Obama picking up the ball and running with it is OK now?

I thought you were a liberty type of guy, cy...

Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:02 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:

You have me heard me, many times, talk about what a moron I thought Bush was. I didn't like the way he imposed his religious beliefs in the government, and I disagree with the repub stance on gay marriage and abortion. (Look at some of my discussions with DTOM if you must).


Oh, I believe that. I just don't recall seeing you complain much about Bush politicizing various agencies, such as the DoJ, the EPA etc..

Quote:
Just curious, do you agree with the DHS report? Do you think its appropriate? Even with the Bush admin misdeeds, such as Patriot Act (which I have disagreed with here), Obama picking up the ball and running with it is OK now?

I thought you were a liberty type of guy, cy...


Parts of it are just fine - I do believe that separatists and militias and right-wing movements seek to recruit veterans to man their ranks. I grew up around a lot of this stuff in TX and know first-hand exactly the kind of stuff that goes on in these groups, and a hell of a lot of it is being repeated by the modern, disenchanted Right-wing movement. The same sort of talk that I associated with crazy folks. It is rather worrisome.

Cycloptichorn
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:17 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

Oh, I believe that. I just don't recall seeing you complain much about Bush politicizing various agencies, such as the DoJ, the EPA etc..



I believe I have stated I think the 'War on Drugs' is a joke. Re the EPA, the Bush admin was very anti environmental. Just as the Obama admin is very pro environmentalist, and is now overturning Bush policies.

That's just politics, isn't it?

But this would like the DHS issuing a report stating everyone who believes in global warming is a potential left wing extremist recruit. That local cops should watch for those with Al Gore bumper stickers...

A stretch? Not to those who oppose abortion, illegal immigration, and other conservative causes.

You mention Texas. I'll mention Berkeley and ANSWER and other groups who march and call for the overthrow of the US.

Two peas in a pod. Yet where is the vague DHS report stating everyone who marched last year for immigration rights is a potential left wing recruit?

If you have a better Bush example of such a report, fill me in. I just think the Obama admin overreached here, and it concerns people like me.

DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:20 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
What, you don't enjoy the give and take of a political discussion? The exchange of ideas, expanding your thoughts, a diversity of beliefs?

The key word there is "exchange". My experience with you suggests that your receiver is broken.

No worries. Carry on.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:23 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:


Two peas in a pod. Yet where is the vague DHS report stating everyone who marched last year for immigration rights is a potential left wing recruit?


It was in the report on left-wing extremism the DHS put out a few years ago; perhaps you missed that one, b/c the right wing didn't get all breathless about it.

As for the Berkeley/Texas comparison, do you see any groups of leftists stockpiling guns and other weapons? Not so much. That's the providence of right-wing groups for the most part.

As I said above; extremist groups DO recruit from the pool of disgruntled veterans. Do you disagree with this?

Cycloptichorn
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 02:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

As for the Berkeley/Texas comparison, do you see any groups of leftists stockpiling guns and other weapons? Not so much. That's the providence of right-wing groups for the most part.

As I said above; extremist groups DO recruit from the pool of disgruntled veterans. Do you disagree with this?



No, I don't disagree. But would you agree extremist groups come in all shapes and sizes?

Did you know the last police officer killed by an active Marine involved a 'disgruntled' gangbanger who belonged to a Hispanic gang? He was home on leave when he set up an ambush of two Ceres, CA police officers. Google Andres Raya.

Or, what of the Crips/Bloods and other gangbangers who recruit military veterans?

This, from CBS in 2007:

Quote:


Are Gang Members Using Military Training?

Military Police Have Briefed Local Police That Troops Could Be Sharing Their Skills

Like most American cities, Columbia, South Carolina, has its share of problems, but nothing prepared the Sheriff Leon Lott for what his department discovered last August.

Four U.S. Marines " who proudly snapped pictures of each other " were recruiting local kids, some as young as 13, into the Crips street gang. The leader was a lance corporal.

"We have enough problems with local kids and what they are doing," Lott, the Richland County Sheriff, said. "But to have the Marines " someone who is trained " to come up here and recruit and give them the training they've had in the military, it scares me to death cause it tells me we're at war with these gangs."



http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/29/eveningnews/main3108597.shtml




Again, these gang bangers are just a small percentage of the military; interesting, though, that DHS and the left seem to be ignoring them in favor of 'right wing extremists'.

If I recall during Vietnam, the left found a rich recruiting pool from the military. Did some of these vets become involved in violence against the government? So yes, it can happen.

Extremists are extremists, don't you think?

But here, in the recent DHS report, only vague warnings were given about the right wing. No groups were identified (such as gangs) or organizations mentioned. Why not? Perhaps the point was to paint with a broad brush?

Sure seems like it from here.

Cy, do you really believe someone who is opposed to a single issue such as abortion or immigration (as the DHS report states) is a potential terrorist?

Again, isn't this painting with an awfully wide brush?

Like I said, put the shoe on the other foot, Cy; what would you say to a DHS report that indicated those who believe in global warming are threats? Or anyone who marched in an immigration rights rally?

This was a political report targeting those with conservative beliefs. If this is a sign of what we can expect from the Obama admin, the country is in deep trouble...

I looked for the DHS report from a few years ago; can't locate it. Do you perhaps have a link?

I know there a report from a few months ago, but that report spoke of left wing hackers and specific groups, such as Earth First, etc...
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 02:24 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:

The key word there is "exchange". My experience with you suggests that your receiver is broken.



You have difficulty in changing my beliefs, so I'm the problem?

Interesting.

Why is that bi-partisanship only seems to work in the mind of the left when it is a conservative who changes their mind?

I can't think of one issue where I've convinced you my view was correct. Yet in your belief system, it's my 'receiver' that is 'broken'.

Kind of small minded, don’t you think?

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 02:29 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
Kind of small minded, don’t you think?

I can't decide whether I'm more amused at the irony, or the oxymoron.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 02:32 pm
@A Lone Voice,
First, I have yet to see anybody argue that leftwing extremism or terrorism doesn't exist, or that it isn't a potential threat. As far as I know, the DHS report you're mentioning is a follow-up on a warning on left-wing extremists that was released in January.

Then, you seem to claim that the DHS is targetting just about anybody on the political right. I would really like to know what you're basing your opinion on. The report seems to talk about right-wing extremists that may try to recruit returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not Republicans. Not conservatives protesting high taxes or whatever it is they are protesting.

And then you seem to go on and equate gang violence with terrorism. I have no idea why this would make sense to you. It seems to me that there's a valid reason why we group crimes committed by organised gangs, mostly against members of other organised gangs, into one category, whereas we group crimes that target a wide, indistinct group of people and that are intended to cause fear and terror amongst a wider population into another category.

Your argument really seems sloppy. But then again, you're starting out with a headline that Godwins your thread right from the beginning, so maybe it unrealistic to expect too much.
 

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