Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vegas Gunrunners - The Weiss Brothers

The Mercury News reports on the guilty verdict in the case of the Weiss brothers in Las Vegas.

William Weiss, 37, was dressed in street clothes. A large man who was free on bail, he kept his chunky hands nervously clasped behind his back.

Jonnatan Weiss, 29, wore blue jail togs and ankle chains. Smaller and slighter, he was on familiar ground as a repeat felon.

Both are from Southern California. Both committed their crimes in Las Vegas. Both were pleading guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro to conspiracy to receive, transport and deal in firearms—one count of a 19-count indictment in a long-running gunrunning scheme ferrying Las Vegas firearms to California and then to Mexico.

Schemes like this explain a lot as far as why strict gun control laws in one place are failing because of the lax laws in another.

Tyler Olson, a special ATF agent in Las Vegas, said in a sworn court filing that he first learned of the Weiss brothers last February, when an employee of the Citadel Gun and Safe store off the Las Vegas Strip telephoned the ATF about a suspicious purchase.

The employee said William Weiss was at the shop buying three firearms for $6,000 in cash, using $20 bills. Olson and other agents hurried to the store and spotted two men loading the guns into the rear of a blue Volvo hatchback with California license plates. The weapons were a .50-caliber Bushmaster rifle and two .22-caliber pistols.

The agents went to work. They found that William Weiss carried dual driver's licenses, in Nevada and California. He listed his address on Rustic Oak Court in North Las Vegas. When the owner of the Rustic Oak Court property told Olson he had never heard of Weiss, the agent was sure he was on to something.

Agents questioned employees and checked sales receipts at a number of local gun stores and discovered that William Weiss had purchased 19 firearms on 13 occasions since December 2008—including four pistols on the day he received his Nevada driver's license, Olson said.
The agent next checked a U.S. Customs database and found that William Weiss had crossed into Mexico the day after buying the Bushmaster and pistols—and that the Volvo had crossed the border 25 times in the past two months.

By June, Olson and fellow agents were tracking the Weiss brothers. Now William was driving a Jeep Liberty with Mexico plates. He purchased two more firearms—another Bushmaster and a 9 mm pistol from a North Las Vegas pawnshop. He also again falsified the ATF disclosure form by using the phony Rustic Oak Court address.

So they brought him in for questioning. At the local field office, William Weiss admitted he actually lived in California. And, Olson said, he confessed that the firearms were meant for his brother Jonnatan Weiss, who lived in California but often stayed with their mother in Tijuana, where the weapons were resold.

The Citadel Gun and Safe store off the Las Vegas Strip is a place that does it right. Suspicious activity is reported to the ATF. If only there were more of that, we'd be in better shape.

What's your opinion? Is it mainly straw purchases like this that account for the guns in criminal hands. Or does theft account for most of the problem?

Please leave a comment.

The Virginia Hostage Taker

The Madison Independent Examiner ran a story about Warren Taylor who took some people hostage in a Virginia post office. I noticed the story yesterday because it took place in a "no-gun" zone, but only today did I read about the perpetrator's motives.

Warren Taylor, the alleged gunman accused of taking three people hostage in a Virginia post office, was angry "about the government taking over the right to bear arms ... he was angry at the government over taxing us," and railed against President Obama, according to hostage Jimmy Oliver, who spoke to the Associated Press.

From where could Taylor have possibly gotten that misinformation?

Informed people know that the Obama administration and the democratically-controlled congress have made absolutely no attempt to curtail the right to bear arms in any way.

This guy is a fascinating example and somewhat representative of many pro-gun folks. These are people who have become so convinced, not to say brainwashed, by all the hysterical right-wing talk that they have lost touch with reality. The facts do not break through their pre-conceived ideas about the government.

Although Taylor popped off a few rounds, thankfully, no one was hurt or killed and the hostages were peacefully released - this time. The three police officers that were murdered by Richard Paplowski, who was led to believe that Obama would be taking away his guns were not that lucky. Nor were the two killed and seven injured by Jim David Adkisson at a Knoxville, TN church shooting because he "wanted to kill...every democrat in the Senate and House, [and] the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book" entitled, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Nor was Dr. George Tiller, shot in the head and killed in church after Bill O'Reilly spent 29 episodes of his show on Fox News describing him as "Tiller the Baby Killer" who will "kill your baby for any reason." Goldberg also happens to be a regular guest on O' Reilly's show.

What do you think? Is the Examiner article pointing out that there must be shared responsibility. People who spout off with thoughtless exaggerations are taken quite seriously by some. Here's a recent example by Joe Huffman. I called it "morally reprehensible" in the comments.

What's your opinion? Is it irresponsible to exaggerate the opposition's position to the degree that Fox News does? Is Joe Huffman's talk about "killing tyrants" irresponsible given the fact that some of his readers are probably as deranged as Warren Taylor? Joe himself denied that he was referring to Obama, but here's one of the comments:

The word "tyrant" needs to be pluralized; otherwise the quote is very relevant for the time we are in. And Mike, if the shoe fits it ain't "our" fault...

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Gun Purchases by Region

FatWhiteMan sent me the link to this fascinating article about gun purchases. But his accompanying remark to me was the best part of it.

Here is a neat chart I found. I am sure you can pervert it to your own agenda, especially the handgun part of the Southeast :)

Rather than provide a lengthy analysis of the handgun purchases in the Southeast and how they obviously feed the iron pipeline, I actually find the shotgun folks up north more interesting. And it was not lost on me that FatWhiteMan himself resides within the confines of shotgun heaven. My question is, why. Why do folks in Ohio and its neighboring Great Lakes States buy so many shotguns? Is there a psychological explanation?

It's definitely a fun chart which I accept from FatWhiteMan as an early Christmas present and offer to you in the same spirit.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Perpetual War

On Opinione there's a wonderful post and interesting discussion going on about what Il Principe calls the perpetual state of war.

...the lack of involvement being asked of the American people in the perpetual war by chicken hawk politicians, is one of the most immoral and offensive displays of the ever growing unequal distribution of wealth and privilege in American society.

These are strong words, which to me make perfect sense. The author went on to explain how this has been made possible in part by the all-volunteer military. Although one of the commenters disputed these claims, insisting with statistics and lengthy argument that the makeup of today's military is representative of society at large, I don't buy it. How could it be?

The other controversial aspect of the Prince's views was whether the Nixon decision to abolish the draft was what undermined and ended the anti-Viet-Nam-war movement or the successful result of it. All fascinating issues.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Illinois US Senate Candidates on Gun Control

The Chicago Tribune reports the results of an Associated Press poll, in which candidates for the Senate were asked the following:

Please explain your views on gun control, including whether the federal ban on "assault weapons" should be revived.

Here are the responses:


--Alexi Giannoulias: "No one needs a semiautomatic weapon on the streets of Chicago, and no convicted felons or domestic abusers need a weapon anywhere in Illinois."

--David Hoffman: "I believe in the Second Amendment and believe that local communities that suffer with high levels of gun violence deserve strong programs to reduce gun violence and control the illegal flow of guns into their communities."

--Cheryle Jackson: "Violence thrives on poverty and despair. It blossoms when there are no good jobs, no good schools and no good prospects."

--Jacob Meister: "Particularly in urban areas, there is a need to put reasonable restrictions on the purchase and use of firearms, including assault weapons." ------


--Patrick Hughes: "I believe in a person's Second Amendment right and would not support a federal ban on 'assault weapons."'

--Mark Kirk: "I support the Second Amendment and sensible measures to reduce illegal gun violence."

--Andy Martin: "The 'assault weapons' ban was a joke and matters should be left as they are without any new legislation."

--Kathleen Thomas: "Criminals will always have access to weaponry. Why would we ever want to limit the law-abiding citizen from having firearms?"

Besides the fact that we have to ask those Democrats what exactly is an "assault weapon," what do you think about the response of Cheryle Jackson? Is she a hidden gu supporter among the Dems?

The rest are fairly expected and uninteresting for me, except for the first Democrat, Mr. Alexi Giannoulias. What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More Guns - Less Crime in 2009

FishyJay sent me a wonderful article from the Christian Science Monitor, which I'm sure won't be the last one on this subject. As these crime stats come in, the pro-gun movement will have much to capitalize on.

FBI's latest crime report, for the first half of 2009, shows America is a less violent place even though ownership of guns has surged. Deterrent effect may have a role, but others see no correlation.

So, some say more guns produces a deterrent effect and therefore we have less crime and another group says there's no correlation. I think I'll number myself in the second group, but I must admit this is good stuff for the pro-gun folks. It is exactly what they predicted.

Pro-gun groups jumped at the FBI report, saying it disproves a long-running theory posited by gun-control groups and many in the mainstream media that gun ownership spawns crime and violence. “Anti-gunners have lost another one of their baseless arguments,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Well, of course Mr. Gottlieb would say that. But isn't it a bit premature to draw such conclusions? Aren't there any number of other factors involved in something as sweeping as crime stats?

The debate over whether guns spur or deter crime has been under way for decades. So far, research has come out with, in essence, a net-zero correlation between gun sales and crime rates. More likely factors for the crime rate decline have to do with Americans hunkering down, spending less time out on the town with cash in their pockets and more time at home with the porch lights on, experts say. So-called "smart policing" that focuses specifically on repeat offenders and troubled areas could also be playing a role, as could extended unemployment benefits that staved off desperation.

So there you have a couple of viable factors, including the economy, which some say would add to the crime rate. This article points out how that can work in reverse. Of course, the way the police do their job, which hopefully is always improving, would have a positive effect too.

One of the ideas mentioned was the fact that this debate has been under way for decades. Any six-month change has to be watched for a while to determine if it's nothing more than a temporary fluctuation. So, let's keep watching, by all means.

What's your opinion? Is the first-half-of-2009 stats an indication that more guns equals less crime? Do you think this is the beginning of the end for the gun control argument that guns are a major part of the problem?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The ACLU and Christmas

Liberal Viewer posted this video and posed the following question:

Which seems more in keeping with the Christmas spirit, the ACLU's message of tolerance or those smears and false personal attacks from Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter?

The Thomas Jefferson quotes are the best. I wonder what he would have thought about a biblical justification for bearing arms?

Jamaican Guns

The Jamaica Observer printed a letter to the editor concerning the gun problem on the island.

Dear Editor,

Gun violence is all over Jamaica, every day, every month and every year. It is the main cause of homicide. Gun violence does not exist because we are naturally violent, or because we have a violent culture. It is there because of a long string of bad decisions made by individuals in the communities. When a citizen, young or old, male or female is struck down by a bullet, it is not because the person is in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is because some way, somehow, the perpetrator is able to get a gun when the easy access should have been prevented.

For years, intelligence-gathering in Jamaica uncovered numerous sources or ways that guns arrived in Jamaica illegally – especially from the United States and Haiti. Efforts have been made to curtail the flow. But I believe that too many guns are on the island. Guns by themselves are useful tools in the right hands but they become deadly weapons or instruments in the wrong hands. Therefore, strong gun-control laws must be put in place to prevent guns from reaching the wrong hands.

Let us all try to have a peaceful and violence-free Christmas season.

Charlie Brown

Morant Bay, St Thomas

The man who wrote this letter was not necessarily an expert on guns or the gun flow problem on the island of Jamaica, but he seems to understand perfectly that easy access to firearms is the problem. I agree.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gun Trafficking published an article by Monica Yant Kinney about the gun trafficking problem. She described how one gun trafficker, she named Jerome, got into the business. Thanks for the tip Laci.

Under Pennsylvania law, with a clean record, Jerome could buy as many guns as he could afford. The only snag? It was illegal.

"Almost from the beginning," he said, "they knew what I was up to."

Jerome was referring to the gun dealers, the legitimate gun dealers who sold him 160 guns over a two-year period and now shrug their shoulders and say, "I didn't do anything wrong."

Eventually Jerome went to jail for a couple years and seems to have learned his lesson. His current attitude is this.

Watching the news, Jerome knows he's partly responsible for the city's crisis of violence. But he thinks there's blame to go around.

"I knew it would come to an end for me. I just wish those gun dealers were held accountable."

What do you think? Is there "blame" to go around?

Please leave a comment.

Guns and Health

The Brady Campaign posted one of the most powerful indictments against gun owners that I've ever read. In light of the discussions and debate on the Health Care Bill, Paul Helmke put together some relevant statistics. In response to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “manager’s amendment” (the compromise version of the health care reform bill coming out of the Senate) Mr. Helmke offered these points among others.

I wonder if Sen. Reid knows that the risk of homicide is three times higher in homes with firearms; the risk of suicide is three to five times greater; and that a gun in the home is 21 times more likely to be used against the homeowner or family member in a completed or attempted suicide, a criminal assault or homicide, or an unintentional shooting death or injury, than used in self defense.

I wonder, finally, whether Sen. Reid knows that among gun-owning parents who reported that their children had never handled their firearms at home, 22% of those children, when questioned separately, said that they had, and that of youths who committed suicide with firearms, 82% obtained the firearm from their home, usually a parent’s firearm.

How anyone in their right mind can justify owning guns in the light of these facts is beyond me. I believe gun owners who are able to be honest with themselves should immediately drop all the rationalizations and take steps to disarm. The wishes of a powerful and vocal minority should cease to prevent common sense from prevailing.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

New York City Traces Guns Used in Crime

The Manhattan News at DNA Info reports on the tracing of two guns used in the Upper West Side shooting. Thanks to Microdot for pointing this story out the me a few days ago. It's now taken on new interest.

When three generations of a family were found slain last week in an apparent drug-related homicide, it appeared to be just another example of the violence associated with Manhattan's drug trade.

But investigators say two hand guns found during the investigation of the Amsterdam Avenue slayings highlights another major New York crime problem — the illegal flow of weapons into the city using so-called straw buyers.

The two guns — one found at the scene and the murder weapon discovered in a nearby trash can — have been traced back to out-of-state gun shops.

A .380 Beretta semi-automatic, which police believe was used to kill two of the three victims, was traced back to a legal purchase at a gun store in Miami, Fla., in May 1990.

The ATF's Crime Gun Center, in New York, traced a .380 Hi Point, which was found at the scene, to Smitty's Sports Shop in Blakeslee, PA.

Both the gun store and the man who purchased the Hi Point — identified as Adigun Nicholson, 46, — are well known to the ATF. The ATF had identified Nicholson as a straw buyer, someone who legally buys guns that end up in the hands of criminals.

In January 2007, a gun was recovered by officers in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx and was traced by the Crime Gun Center to Smitty's where Nicholson bought it in December 2006.

An ATF investigation of Nicholson revealed multiple purchases — usually two guns at a time — by Nicholson from Smitty's between March, 2006 and February, 2007, the ATF said.

During an interview with Nicholson, he admitted to the ATF that he bought the guns for David Gonzalez from the Bronx, according to the ATF.

In May 2007, an undercover ATF agent arrested Gonzalez after selling him four guns in a sting operation. Gonzalez eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 39 months in prison, a law enforcement official said.

Nicholson pleaded guilty in September 2008 to falsely stating on federal forms that he was the intended user of the guns and is serving 20 months in federal prison.

What's your opinion? Is New York City good at tracing guns used in crime? To me it seems very fast. And the information gathered seems very useful to the efforts at eliminating this criminal activity. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Castle Doctrine in the U.K.

Thanks to FishyJay we have the following report from Sky news Online.

The Tories want to give people who kill burglars while defending their home more protection from prosecution, according to the shadow home secretary.

You don't suppose those crazy Tories are talking about getting away with murder like they do so easily in America? It seems to me that even in the United Kingdom they understand what constitutes "lethal threat," or am I wrong?

Laci provided a link to another article from the Guardian. Here's Laci's post on it.

Talk of the Englishmen defending his castle provokes such a rush of blood to the Conservative head that judgment disappears. Last week Munir Hussain was sent to prison for inflicting violent vengeance on a particularly vicious burglar, and now Chris Grayling has said he wants to rip up the reasonable force test that restricts self-defence. The shadow home secretary's proposal is a populist perennial, but one that never quite blooms, as it makes no sense.

What is so difficult about differentiating between justice and vengeance? I never understood it, but I believe "that's what's the deal we're dealin' in."

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Zappadan Festival 2009 - Day 21 - Last day

Happy birthday Frank Zappa.

Thanks to Fried Green Al-Qaedas for the wonderful roundup. Just go there for so many videos, photos, stories and everything Zappa.

Gun Permits Surge in Massachusetts reports on the latest statistics on gun permits.

The number of gun permits issued in Massachusetts surged by more than 15 percent over the past two years, reversing nearly a decade of steady declines and marking a pronounced departure for a state known for its antigun sentiment.

The magnitude of the rise, evident in nearly every corner of the state, surprised law enforcement officials, and gun advocates and opponents alike.

Some saw it as an echo of similar spikes across the country after President Obama’s election, when heavy gun sales were attributed to fears that he would impose strict new gun laws. But with more women and elderly residents signing up for gun classes in Massachusetts, many said the increase here has also been driven by worries about crime and a growing sense of vulnerability in the wake of the financial collapse and lingering fallout of the damaged economy.

More guns, less crime. That's what some people say. What I say is time will tell. If the trends continue, the increase in gun violence should become clear and obvious. And how could it not? Some folks say 80% of the guns in criminal hands are stolen from lawful gun owners. No one can dispute that some lawful gun owners turn bad, the percentage is debatable, but the incidents are documented. There have also been reports of gun licenses issued mistakenly to folks who should not qualify.

All this would have to show eventually, depending on all the other factors, in an increase in gun violence. What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The NRA on the "Gun-Show Loophole"

The Baltimore Sun reports on a poll which shows most NRA members are at odds with their leadership on the question of closing the so-called gun-show loophole.

A recent poll shows National Rifle Association members overwhelmingly favor closing the gun show loophole, and that has the NRA fuming. Never mind that the poll was conducted by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who is on Fox News so often that he may as well be considered a network personality. Or that the same poll shows NRA members do support many pro-Second Amendment positions (against a national gun registry, for example).

Once again, the NRA's leadership is out of step - not only with average Americans but even with people who identify themselves as NRA members. That kind of extremism may help the organization raise money from its base, but it's only making the country more vulnerable to criminals who can now purchase firearms at a gun show in most states without a Brady criminal background check.

The article goes on to speak only about gun shows and not at all about private sales outside gun shows. To me it seems limiting the requirement to gun shows only is not going far enough. But perhaps the ones pushing this legislation know better than I do. Perhaps preventing criminals and other prohibited persons from easy access at gun shows is enough to accomplish the goal.

Still the most amazing part of this whole argument is the resistance by so many gun owners. Even the majority of their fellows agree this is necessary, yet they, the vocal minority, persist with all possible arguments. Why is that? Are these people so self-centered, fearing further restrictions which would inconvenience them, that they fight against these obviously necessary measures?

What's your opinion? Is there another explanation for the resistance? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Hanukkah from Adam Sandler

Via Liberality.

Put on your yarmulke
Here comes Chanukah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukah
Chanukah is the festival of lights
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights

When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree
Here's a list of people who are Jewish just like you and me
David Lee Roth lights the menorah
So do James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah

Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli
Bowser from Sha Na Na and Arthur Fonzerelli
Paul Newman's half Jewish, Goldie Hawn's half too
Put them together, what a fine lookin' Jew

You don't need "Deck The Halls" or "Jingle Bell Rock"
'Cause you can spin a dreidel with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock- both Jewish

Put on your yarmulke
It's time for Chanukah
The owner of the Seattle Supersonicahs
Celebrates Chanukah

O.J. Simpson, not a Jew
But guess who is? Hall of famer Rod Carew- he converted
We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby
Harrison Ford's a quarter Jewish- not too shabby

Some people think that Ebenezer Scrooge is
Well he's not, but guess who is
All three Stooges
So many Jews are in showbiz
Tom Cruise isn't, but I heard his agent is

Tell your friend Veronica
It's time to celebrate Chanukah
I hope I get a harmonicah
Oh this lovely, lovely Chanukah
So drink your gin and tonicah
And smoke your marijuanikah
If you really, really wannakah
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Chanukah
Happy Chanukah

Zappadan Festival 2009 - Day 16

As Laci suggested, I offer Hungry Freaks Daddy, afterwhich we have a lengthy and interesting introduction to Son of Mr. Green Genes.

Mr. america, walk on by your schools that do not teach
Mr. america, walk on by the minds that won't be reached
Mr. america try to hide the emptiness that's you inside
But once you find that the way you lied
And all the corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide of
hungry freaks daddy!

Roderick Scott Acquitted reports on the not guilty verdict of Roderick Scott in the killing of the unarmed Christopher Cervini.

Cervini, his 15-year-old cousin, James Cervini, and friend Brian Hopkins, also 15, stayed overnight beginning the evening of April 3 in the basement of James Cervini’s home on Fireweed Trail, within sight of Scott’s two-story colonial home at 58 Baneberry Way. But after drinking purloined gin while James Cervini’s parents were asleep, they went out to walk loudly around the neighborhood about 3 a.m. during an early spring storm.

After taking a circuitous route down Buttonwood Drive and over to Baneberry, and trying to get into cars along the way, they walked up to the garage of Scott’s home. Scott and his girlfriend, Tracy L. Allen, who were sleeping separately because of an argument the night before, both heard voices outside and got up to check.

Both said they saw three people walk from their driveway to a driveway directly across the street at 57 Baneberry and try to open the door of a truck. Scott told Allen to call 911, got his legally permitted .40-caliber pistol from the top of an armoire, and went outside in what he said was an attempt to stop a possible theft and hold the people responsible until police arrived.

When he got outside, the three people had moved west one house to 39 Baneberry. One person continued walking on the sidewalk toward Manitou, but Scott said he found two others between a pickup and a sport utility vehicle. The dome light of the SUV was on, indicating that someone had just entered it, he said.

Scott said he ordered the two people — Christopher and James Cervini — to hold still, warning them that his wife had just called 911 and telling them he had a gun.

But both bolted, he said. One ran around the front of the pickup and escaped toward Manitou and the other ran at him, shouting “I’ll get him!” or “I’ll get you!”

He said he fired twice because he feared for his life, not knowing if the person running at him was armed or would try to take away his gun and use it on him.

The person ran past Scott and collapsed in the street, where he said, “I’m just a kid” as he bled into the gutter, according to Scott’s testimony.

It would be hard to find a better example of a legitimate gun owner facing that split-second life-or-death decision. In spite of what the jury decided, I find the idea that Roderick feared for his like incredible. He was a big man with a gun facing teenagers. He shot and killed an unarmed 15-year-old. How that can be justified is beyond me.

The escaping cousin described the scene totally differently. He said the two cousins were obeying orders with their hands in the air when the first shot was fired. That sounds a bit incredible too, but if the truth is somewhere in between I think it was probably closer to that than the ridiculous assertion that an unarmed 15-year-old was charging and had to be stopped with bullets.

What's your opinion? Do you think Mr. Scott was right to leave his house, gun in hand to investigate car theft? Isn't that kind of thing the duty of organized neighborhood watch groups or the police themselves? Was it his duty to protect the neighborhood from vandals?

Whether the jury was right or wrong, I believe this story perfectly illustrates the problem with legitimate gun owners and their attitude towards criminals. In so many cases these armed citizens are not up to the task of differentiating between a tense and dangerous situation and one that is truly a lethal threat. If Roderick Scott had not owned a gun or had stayed in his own house and waited for the police, what's the worst that could have happened? For sure, whatever would have happened would have been a lot better than this.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Glenn Beck on Jay Leno

The National Examiner recaps some of Glenn Beck's best quotes of 2009. Also provided is a recent Jay Leno interview in which Beck claims to be just a regular guy speaking his mind and not the polarizing figure he's often described as. I completely agree with Il Principe that posting about this guy is feeding the "weapons of mass distraction" machine, but I can't help myself.

Today Glenn Beck went on Jay Leno's show and while there were many interesting moments from the interview the most striking was Beck's claim that he "is not a polarizing guy." Instead Beck says he is just a guy from a small town saying "the things that have to be said."

Merriam Webster defines "polarize" as "to break up into opposing factions or groupings." While Beck may contend his rehotoric is benign many would beg to differ. A simple google search turns up the following Beck quotes which many would see as very "polarizing."

What's your opinion? Is Glenn Beck's definition of Libertarian a good one? Is that talk about hating both major parties and being a Libertarian himself sincere. What do you think? Please leave a comment.