Saturday, May 22, 2010

Say hello to

SkyTruth, a blog that has done a bang-up job in covering the BP oil spill fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet another incident involving apparent right-wing extremists

It's beginning to emerge that the two men who shot and killed two police officers and wounded two more before being killed themselves in West Memphis, Arkansas, on Thursday were probably white supremacists from a small operation in southern Ohio.
Nerdified link

Might as well read the rest, but I will point to some data on right-wing violence reported at the end of the article:
A recent study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism lays out in painful detail the very real threat that right-wing extremists pose to people in law enforcement:
Research led by Dr. Joshua D. Freilich (John Jay College, CUNY) and Dr. Steven Chermak (Michigan State University) and funded by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has revealed a violent history of fatal attacks against law enforcement officers in the United States by individuals who adhere to far-right ideology.

* In the United States, 42 law enforcement officers have been killed in 32 incidents in which at least one of the suspects was a far-rightist since 1990.

* 94% of these incidents involved local or state law enforcement. Only two events—high-profile attacks at Ruby Ridge and at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City—involved federal agents. Much more common are events like the tragic Pittsburgh triple slayings.

* Attacks on police by far-rightists tend to occur during routine law enforcement activities. 34% of the officers killed by far-rightists were slain during a traffic stop, and a number of law enforcement officers have been killed while responding to calls for service similar to the domestic violence call that precipitated the Pittsburgh murders.

* Firearms were the most common type of weapon used during these fatal anti-police attacks. 88% of the incidents involved guns, while only 6% involved explosives and 6% involved knives. 81% of the victims were killed by guns.

* Only 12% of the suspects in these attacks were members of formal groups with far-right ideologies. The vast majority—like Poplawski—acted alone. This greatly complicates law-enforcement efforts to anticipate which individuals might pose a threat to police officers.

* Beyond these law enforcement murders, far-right violence presents a broader threat to national security and American citizens. Since 1990, far-rightists have been linked to more than 275 homicide incidents in 36 states. These crimes have resulted in the more than 530 fatalities, including the 168 victims murdered by Timothy McVeigh when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The vast majority of these suspects are white and male, with almost 70% being 30 years old or younger.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Maybe I'm something of a cynic after all

Whether such a definition applies depends, I suppose on whether one uses the term, "cynic" in its current colloquial form or in its original ancient Greek sense as a genuine philosophical movement.


If one goes on to Memeorandum, much of the space seems to be devoted to Miss USA. Never mind the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the two wars that the US is still waging, or the tanking European economy. We American bloggers have our priorities straight, dammit.