Limbaugh Urges Riots in Denver

…and you should be urging Colorado Attorney General John Suthers (a Republican) to investigate. How is it that a GOP attack dog frontman can call for riots in the streets of Denver during the Democratic National Convention, and not be currently residing in a jail cell someplace? Because, apparently, IOKIYAR. Still, Inciting to Riot is a felony – and the Colorado AG should be all over this…

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Here’s a situation that should be looked into by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Attorney General of Colorado. On Wednesday, radical right wing pitchman Rush Limbaugh called for riots at the Democratic National Convention later this year in Denver:

He said the riots would ensure a Democrat is not elected as president, and his listeners have a responsibility to make sure it happens.

“Riots in Denver, the Democrat Convention would see to it that we don’t elect Democrats,” Limbaugh said during Wednesday’s radio broadcast. He then went on to say that’s the best thing that could happen to the country…

…Limbaugh said with massive riots in Denver, which he called “Operation Chaos,” the people on the far left would look bad.

“We do, hopefully, the right thing for the sake of this country. We’re the only one in charge of our affairs. We don’t farm out our defense if we elect Democrats … and riots in Denver, at the Democratic Convention will see to it we don’t elect Democrats. And that’s the best damn thing that can happen to this country, as far as I can think,” Limbaugh said…

Inciting to riot is a felony in most states, and I’m sure that there are federal statutes that are also applicable. And let’s posit for a moment that, say, Air America host Rachel Maddow called for riots in Minneapolis at the Republican National Convention. Do you think Maddow would be in a lockup someplace this morning? Or at least would have received a very annoyed phone call from the Minnesota AG’s office?

Someone needs to tell me the difference between Rush Limbaugh and Moqtada al-Sadr (above and beyond the fact that al-Sadr is an ordained cleric, and Limbaugh is just an ordinary asswipe). And I want to know how Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, etc. etc. can continue getting away with inspiring their listeners to violence, yet are never called on it by either the Republican Party leadership or law enforcement authorities.

If you feel so moved, you can contact the Colorado Attorney General’s office and express your concerns. At a minimum, inciting to riot is a serious offense. When the call goes out from someone of Limbaugh’s stature, who has legions of loyal dittoheads hanging on his every word, it’s very, very likely that his “call to arms” could motivate some right wing crackpots to action.

Update: The more I think about this, the more incensed I’m becoming. I really do think this calls for a blogswarm to, at a minimum, hold Limbaugh’s feet to the fire, and get some high profile Republicans (such as Colorado AG Suthers) on record as denouncing his call to arms. What Limbaugh and his ilk are doing is well beyond the boundaries of protected free speech. It’s way past time for this stuff to stop.

Others commenting at this hour: Shake’s Sis, Booman, C&L, Suburban Guerrilla, Brilliant at Breakfast

Update 2: From Booman, StevenD, and Brendan – Limbaugh’s rhetoric certainly does rise to the level of inciting to riot, by both Colorado and Federal statutes.

Friday, April 25th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

South Dakota: Save The Fetus – Flog The Mommy?

South Dakota pro-life activists are pushing an anti-abortion initiative for November. This follows a similar attempt in 2006. While this measure has more exceptions, the requirements are impractical and the consequences are potentially dangerous. Protecting the unborn shouldn’t endanger the living.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

Abortion opponents are an interesting lot. For years, they have argued that all abortion is wrong as it involves the taking of a life. An inability to sway the public to embrace laws that would ban all abortions seems to be leading pro-lifers to adopt an incremental approach. South Dakota appears to be the battleground of choice.

In 2006, the residents of South Dakota rejected a ballot initiative that would have banned virtually all abortions except for those necessary to save the life of the mother. The measure was soundly rejected by 56 percent of South Dakota voters.

A new initiative appears to be headed for inclusion on the 2008 ballot in November. However, this new measure provides exceptions for rape, incest, and to protect the health of a woman.

When the 2006 initiative was drafted, many felt anti-abortion advocates were attempting to craft a law that would eventually reach the newly constituted…and presumably more conservative…U.S. Supreme Court.

Abortion opponents in South Dakota filed petitions this week that are likely to put an initiative on November’s ballot calling for a near-ban on abortion, renewing a contentious fight over a similar proposal in 2006.

The new language was drafted by South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long, state Rep. Roger W. Hunt (R) and 20 other lawyers. As with the 2006 initiative, passage would probably trigger a lawsuit that could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court and provide an opportunity to reconsider its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

“My job is to protect the women of South Dakota,” said Leslee Unruh, executive director. If abortion rights advocates “follow what they’ve done in the past, suing, they’ll probably sue on this one, as well. We’re prepared for that; we’ve done due diligence in the preparation for this law.”

The sponsors said their polls show that a majority of South Dakotans support the initiative with the exceptions.

A woman would have to report rape or incest to police before seeking an abortion to qualify for that exception. “A woman who is the victim of incest and is 13, being raped by her father, is highly unlikely to report that,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota.

Opponents also said the definition of a health risk to the woman is too narrow because the language implies a doctor would have to be certain the woman’s health was threatened and excludes mental and emotional issues as health exceptions.

While I understand the arguments against abortion, I can’t help but find fault with intentional efforts to promote vague and misleading ballot measures. In their zeal to protect the unborn, their actions often punish those who have been born. For example, previous studies indicate that many women never report being raped and the same is often true for cases of incest.

Requiring these women to file a police report in order to abort a fetus that results from such heinous acts seems insensitive, if not unconscionable. It could also place children at risk should they report an incestuous assault that didn’t result in some form of protective custody or jail time for the perpetrator. Never mind that the incest victim might be in danger…by God we must protect that fetus.

What troubles me most is that these activists are frequently the same people who throw out terms like –the nanny state’ or rail against laws that would close loopholes that allow criminals to obtain handguns. Unfortunately, many of them believe the definition of freedom is relative or open to selective interpretation.

If I follow their tortured logic, a daughter who is raped by her father should find it easier to obtain a gun to shoot her dad than to consult in confidence with a physician about her options to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Similarly, the strategy suggests that a rapist should find it easier to have a weapon to commit his crime than for his victim to abort the resulting pregnancy.

Why not just require victims of unwanted pregnancies to face two trials…one involving the prosecution of the perpetrator…and one to present their case for terminating the pregnancy. Let’s take it a step further. Let’s require that the second trial be conducted by the victims church complete with a jury of fellow parishioners and the pastor as the presiding judge. That way they can apply God’s law and Biblical interpretation to the situation.

As to dealing with the health exception, that could be more complicated. Maybe we could revive some of the methods utilized to identify witches. Perhaps if the pregnant woman can swim across the nearest river (during the spring runoff, of course), she is healthy enough to have the baby. If she doesn’t make it (and drowns), she would have been entitled to abort the child. Yes, that sounds reasonable.

Look, I’m all for protecting the innocent. I simply think it ought to include the ones who have already been birthed…and not just the ones who believe their second amendment rights are sacred. In the meantime, I’m still watching and waiting for that pro-life gun show protest…the one where they read from the Bible and hold up ghastly pictures of murdered people.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 by Daniel DiRito |

Google, Spooks, and Undercover Mil-Blogging

George Orwell was an amateur when it came to predicting the “big brotherness” of 2008. In some ways, government disinformation campaigns and the availability of personal data well exceed anything that futurists such as Orwell or Aldus Huxley could have envisioned many years ago. Personal privacy? We simply don’t have that anymore…someone, somewhere knows everything about each and every of us…or at least has access to the data.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Songwriter and artist Kevin Gilbert was apparently a born oracle. I’ve written about him before, and in particular, his song “Goodness Gracious”, which was an anthem about ten years ahead of its time:

…Goodness Gracious is there nothing left to say?
When the ones that get to keep looking
are the ones that look away
It’s pabulum for the sleepers
in the cult of brighter days

…Goodness Gracious I’m not listening anymore
Cause the spooks are in the White House
and they’ve justified a war
So wake me when they notify
we’re gonna fight some more…

Two stories popped up this morning that fill in a few more blanks with respect to the “big brother” nature of the U.S. government, and how the information around us is (or could potentially be) manipulated.

First up: Apparently, the U.S. military has figured out that bloggers carry at least some small degree of influence in public discourse. And we’re all painfully aware that the use of paid propaganda in various forums has been used (to greater or lesser effect) many times in recent U.S. political history. See: Williams, Armstrong, et.ux.

Can bloggers (or more specifically, bloggers who are, you know, actually influential) be bought? If so, what’s the price? And even more importantly, why am I not getting any of that gravy? Hmmmmph.

Next: The CIA has contracted with Google, Inc. for assistance with organizing, compiling, and sharing (internally, of course) data on known or suspected bad guys. It’s hard to tell how far that effort extends, but from the gist of the UK Times Online article, it sounds like the spooks are using Google technology for working with their own data. Still, it’s a slippery slope – I mean, google knows just about everything in my personal portfolio. Who knows what key word or tricky phrase might set off alarm bells, and trigger a download of all of my googleable personal data into the CIA’s own database?

I wonder what a futurist like George Orwell might be saying today, had he lived to see the technology revolution that has exploded in the past decade or so…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 by Richard Blair |
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