You aren’t paranoid enough

Somewhere in the burning pits of Hell, J. Edgar is smiling-

This week’s This American Life is an entire hour devoted to investigating the FBI’s killing of Ibragim Todashev todashev1along with a companion piece in Boston Magazine. You probably heard about the basics of the Todashev story. Todashev was a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers implicated in the Boston Marathon bombings (and the one who was killed when law enforcement tried to capture them), who was being interviewed by the FBI and was then shot multiple times and killed — with a whole variety of conflicting stories coming out soon after as to what he did to lead to his death. One of the key stories was that Todashev had just admitted to participating, with Tsarnaev, in a grisly triple homicide outside of Boston a year and half earlier, and then supposedly lunged at the FBI agents (there were a variety of different reports, each claiming he had some kind of weapon, but each time the report differed on what kind of weapon). But reporter Susan Zalkind, who had been friendly with one of the 3 men killed back in 2011, which Todashev supposedly confessed to taking part in, decided to explore the story more deeply, and found a variety of oddities at every turn, nearly all of which involve strange moves by the FBI.todashev2

How The FBI Has Been Working Hard To Deport Friends Of Guy They Killed During Interview About Boston Bombing

One hopes it is only incompetence that is being covered up. One suspects it is much, much more.

via Glenn


Why Bad Vlad should scare the pants off you

He sings a seductive song, for all the wrong reasons:

“Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures. Society is now required not only to recognize everyone’s right to the freedom of consciousness, political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning. Sunglass VladThis destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority, which does not accept the changes occurring or the proposed revision of values.” – Vladimir Putin

Wow, a siren song for the Right in this country, huh? Not so fast…

In the United States, Putin’s right turn has exacerbated old divisions among its conservative intelligentsia. The reaction of some conservatives to Putin’s December speech has been positive, if not affirming. Putin’s call to return to traditional values and scorn for elites who willfully promote “abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values” compelled Pat Buchanan to wonder aloud whether Putin “was one of us?” Writing in The American Conservative, William Lind went so far as to claim that “American conservatives should welcome the resurgence of a conservative Russia.” Such praise for Putin couldn’t more strongly contrast the loathing of other American conservatives. Writing for National Review, the Stanford classicist Victor Davis Hanson compared Putin to Milton’s Satan, arguing that “he winds up existing to warn us in the West of what we are not.” Throughout the Cold War, American conservatives were predictably unified in their ideological stand against communism. Indeed, the Soviets faced few enemies as unyielding as those who shared the views of either Mr. Lind or Mr. Hanson. Evidently, Putin has divined the formula for polarizing his more traditional opponents.

– and that makes him incredibly dangerous. Even the devil can quote scripture…

Some in-depth reading here, via Classical Values


That’s gonna leave a mark

Listen up, you primitive screwheads! This is my Boom-Stick! Before you dare clog the intertubes with your mindless caterwaulings and complaints to your elected officials, heed this warning from Ken White of Popehat!

generic angry politician

NOT David M. Feldman

Look, you pack of sticky-fingered dawdlers, these are busy, busy people, doing important government things that you cannot possibly understand. They don’t have time to be distracted by your email campaigns addressing things you have the gall to think they ought to do, let alone respond to your confused and ill-penned entreaties. So CEASE AND DESIST. Go back to the way things are supposed to be: your leaders do government and you sit there and take it.

Full text here. Take heed, varlets!


Surly Curmudgeons R Us


“Political tags–such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth–are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

– Robert A. Heinlein

I like to think of myself as the latter, but perhaps that’s just vanity.