What Radicalization?

Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat who represents a portion of my hometown (Houston, TX) in the House of Representatives, opened her yap in a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee yesterday and shined a bright light on the ignorance of liberals when it comes to radical Islam:

First, she brings up Vernon J. Merrill, who wrote a letter detailing how radical Islam is spreading like wildfire in our prisons – then points out that he bombed an abortion clinic. The problem is that I can’t find a single article about the man and have no way to verify what she’s claiming. Her point is that the man listed is a Christian militant – and she says, “information is welcome, condemnation is not.” I’m sorry, but how is it that the intel being quoted by the former head of the New York Department of Corrections is NOT welcome information? Then she goes on a bent about how Christian militants also wish to undermine America. Sure, they’re out there, but when was the last time you saw a Christian preaching conversion or death? When was the last time you saw a Christian trying to commit mass murder? Sorry, abortion clinic bombings are as horribly wrong as what the occupants of those clinics do but that’s not mass murder and there’s not a church in this country that would be stupid enough to train people to do that. To accuse Christians of militancy and trying to bring down America is beyond absurd. It is a patently outrageous lie.

Dare I mention where I used to work for the umpteen jillionth time? Meet Mack Gordnattaz, whom I met while he was incarcerated with the juvenile corrections facility in Phoenix. He openly fantasized about having a son whom he would raise to be a Muslim jihadist and assassin. Here’s Luther Davis, the “legend” of my academy class (every prison academy has one), and the most violent little bastard I ever came across among juveniles. He was extremely racist; he openly hated white people and spoke frequently of wanting to kill Americans for the sake of jihad (he was also illiterate and had a mother and grandmother who thought he walked on water). I knew of others in adult prison, but these two will be out in a couple of years while the others I knew were in for life.

While Fox News reported that not all of the witnesses at today’s hearing agreed with radical Islam spreading in our prisons, I noticed a sharp disparity between the witnesses. Democrat Laura Richardson openly called the hearings “racist” and decried the fact that Islam was being singled out:

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) rightly calls her out for her one-sided comments. He is correct in that every single time the subject of gang members and similar criminal organizations have extended beyond the prisons, nobody has never had a problem with it – as long as they were white. Now all of a sudden it’s a problem (never mind the fact that not all Muslims are black or Middle Eastern or whichever skin color you prefer – Jose Padilla was radicalized and he was Hispanic).

I’d pose this question to Rep. Richardson: who the hell else is plotting to blow us all to kingdom come?!?

Democrat Bennie Thompson felt it necessary to point out prison statistics:

His most astounding remark was about murder victim James Byrd, Jr. He said, “let’s not forget that James Byrd was dragged to his death on a back road in Texas by right-wing gang members who were radicalized in jail.”

Wait…huh???

Of the three men who murdered Byrd, Shawn Berry hadn’t done hard time and there was almost no evidence to prove that he was a racist. The other two, Lawrence Brewer and John King, had done hard time and had been documented members of the Aryan Brotherhood – they had joined the gang for protection. What they did was reprehensible, but they were hardly right-wing and his comment that they were part of a “right-wing gang” was a completely perverse accusation that conservatives are racists.

Then, Thompson makes the comment I have been waiting to hear from a Democrat: the Adam Gadhan “gun show” video. He says that Gadhan announces that you can legally buy fully-automatic guns at gun shows, and “that is correct.” Horsehockey. Fully-automatic weapons are illegal for civilian sale or ownership without a federal firearms license, and those are not easy to obtain. He talks about 250 people on a terror watch list being cleared to buy guns – how many of them were cleared under the unbelievable “Fast and Furious” operation? He is, of course, shooting his own argument full of holes (pun definitely intended); he starts out by claiming that radical Islam isn’t much of a threat, then he ends up right back at radical Islam actually posing a threat. Then he says that we’re not in danger from people who are already locked up, but he follows that by saying that we’re in danger from gangs who use prisons as a base for criminal operations. This guy doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

The only actual witness who said there’s no evidence of radical Islam spreading in prisons was Bart Udeem, the professor from Purdue. All he could point to were the “low number of confirmed cases”. Outside, an imam who was protesting said the hearing was unfair and singled out Muslims. Inside, the only people on the Committee who attacked the hearings did so by essentially calling them politically incorrect and didn’t know their facts. There’s an important pattern here…take a look at the witnesses who testified that radicalization is becoming a serious problem: Patrick Dunleavy is retired from the executive staff of the New York Department of Correctional Services; Kevin Smith is a former federal prosecutor from California; and Michael Downing is a deputy chief with the LAPD. These are men who have decades of experience in working with the criminal element. They know what they’re talking about. I would like to know what experience Bart Useem, Laura Richardson, Sheila Jackson-Lee and Bennie Thompson have in law enforcement.

None? Okay. Stop calling these questions politically incorrect and face reality. The sad fact is that Islam knows perfectly well that a good portion of America is afraid of offending them (such as the aforementioned braindead Democrats). They are using that against us. Taking away our basic rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure isn’t stopping them from plotting to kill us. Taking away our guns will only make us sitting ducks. Plugging your ears and going, “LA LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA LAAAAA” isn’t going to make the threat go away. They are thanking Allah for your ignorance while they plan to slaughter you. We all know what’s going to happen when they start trying to kill us; you’ll run and hide in the corner, and the rest of us who have real spines will be the ones who grab our gear and run toward the danger. You don’t want to fight? Fine. Get out of the way and let us do it. When it’s over you can go back to calling us racists and screaming about how it’s Unconstitutional to fail to provide for people who refuse to work.

The only sanity I found was when those with the experience and the backbone to apply it were speaking:

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7 thoughts on “What Radicalization?

  1. Jackson-Lee is a good example of letting the monkey speak when the organ-grinder isn’t listening (Thank you Winston). Let’s now deny that we know she’s a puppet and when she shakes her tongue the sawdust flies.
    Radicalism in prisons has been an issue going back to NY lawsuits in the 60’s.
    But Jackson-Lee wouldn’t know that. See, Jackson-Lee thinks those Neo-Islamics (black and white) are being emancipated. I wonder how her ancestors saw being sold into slavery after being taken captives by Muhammed’s kin. Hers were only about 15% that were sent West – her other ancestors 80% were sent to fates in the Arab lands, Mesopotania and Persia and Asia.
    But, she’s running for the short-money only and it’s fund-raising time.

  2. I was impressed by your invitation to engage in civil discussion. I’m disappointed to realize that my idea of civility differs from yours. You were offensive from the very start of your remarks: Jackson-Lee opened her “yap”.

    I would prefer to respond to the content of your essay, because I differ with you from start to finish. I simply can’t get past your language. You appear to have given this matter a lot of thought. You seem to have a good command of language. So I can’t help wondering why you feel it necessary to pollute your message with inflammatory expressions. The knee jerk response is to become angry. The last thought is, why bother? What’s the use in trying?

    I have been reading a book titled, “Non Violent Communication”. It’s surprising to find that violent communication is so commonplace. It would seem that we just take it for granted that this is the way to talk to each other.

    I don’t know whom you are trying to impress with your inflammatory comments. In my opinion, they don’t flatter you. You can surely come up with more appropriate words to convey your message, unless the message is simply that you are an angry person with a limited vocabulary. I don’t believe that, in spite of your choice of words. It’s possible that you will take from this that I am a snobbish liberal. That’s not it. I require a measure of reserve in intellectual discourse, because only by respecting one another can we come to any meeting of the minds.

    Much as I hate to admit it, the truth lies not with either of us, but between us. I’d like to be dead right as much as you do. But more than that I’d like to reach agreement. This country is polarized to the point where radicalization is a real concern. I believe we can do better.

    Thank you for reading this post. I will leave you with a threat or a promise: I’ll be back. Erica

  3. I don’t agree with you on that, Steve. In fact, I got a big laugh as I realized that’s exactly what I would have said about conservatives. It may be that we are sensitized by the radicalization of both political parties.
    Ms. Richardson used the term “racist” to describe the narrow scope of the hearings. Of course the usage isn’t correct, given that Muslim is a religion. But the fact is many Americans believe they can identify Muslims on sight. This is an important element of the need to be “politically correct” where Muslims are concerned. As we all know, violence against Muslims sky-rocketed after 9/11. Ten years later another up tick is happening. I think it’s reckless to ignore the potential danger to innocent Muslim Americans. Should we allow members of any group to just blow us up? No, of course not. Should we be looking at potential risk groups? Of course we should. Both Jackson-Lee and Richardson call for a more generalized approach, a change in language essentially, and, yes, a more politically correct approach. A certain preacher who felt it Godly to burn the Qu’ran, should have reconsidered the effect of his actions on innocents. Twenty lost their lives. And how much further do we need to look for Christians who are prepared to use weapons of mass destruction? And how much more easily can this be done than with the focus of the media and a match?

    The scholarly witness reported no increase in radicalization. Is that all he had—statistics?! Surely the testimony of law enforcement should outweigh raw numbers. After all, law enforcement personnel have shown themselves to be beyond reproach, particularly members of the LAPD. I’m not particularly impressed by their ideas or impressions. I think it’s valuable to listen to the findings of an objective investigator who has crunched the numbers. It’s true, you can prove anything with statistics. So why is it that Mr. Dunlevy didn’t provide any statistics to support his stance? Which brings me to a subject dear to my heart: our penal system.

    The term penitentary is based on the word penitent, to be sorry. The idea was to put people away for a length of time during which they can think about what they’ve done. The punishment was removal from society, and the length of sentence was the severity of punishment. That was the idea. I can only speak from my own experience with prison, but I know beyond doubt that you can not even hear yourself to think over the din. The decibel level there is excruciating. One reason is the construction of these buildings, the acoustics of which have apparently been left out of the planning. It is enough to cause radicalization of anyone. And I defy anyone to think quietly about self improvement or anything else there.

    The author of this essay debunks Mr. Thompson’s assertion that James Byrd was murdered by right wing ex convicts who were radicalized in jail. Mr. Maguire quibbles over the idea that they’d all done “hard time”. They certainly had all been institutionalized for some length of time, and two of them were confirmed memebers of white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood. He says that they joined the gang for protection, as if this is supportive of his argument. They joined for protection!

    It seems to me that Jeffrey Dahmer asked to be placed in general population. He was sick to death of himself and what he’d done. He was penitent. He knew this: he’d be murdered if placed in general population. He was correct. And this is what blows me away.We see an individual found guilty of heinous crimes, and we are gleeful at the prospect he faces in prison. “You’ll be somebody’s bitch in there!” So the punishment is no longer separation from society, nor is the goal that inmates have time to refashion themselves into non-criminals who can be safelty released. Now the punishment is relegation to the terrifyingly brutal environment that is the state of incarceration in America, and the goal is that they are brutalized into….what?

    I have an idea of how to create radicals of all “stripes”, as Mr. Thompson said. I will take them to a place where violence is the norm. They will be placed in overpopulated outdated facilities, and looked over by guards who are frequently not vetted. There will be such a large proportion of inmates to guards, that the guards will have to use the inmates against each other in order to maintain any control at all. There will be severe and inhumane punishments, an example of which might be the “hole”–a place where sensory deprivation and removal from other human companionship, however vile, makes the cruelty of general population pale in comparison. The only “protection” an individual can hope for is from prison gangs. The result will be radicalization. Many of these radicals are capable of mass murder, regardless of specific gang affiliation. And that is why we need to look at all groups, and at all prisons, and at our goals for inmates. While this may seem to be a tangential issue, in reality it is a central concern. What better way to create people who hate America than this?
    .

  4. You talk about MY inflammatory comments? You all but flat-out call me a racist, but somehow I am the one making inflammatory statements. Let me tell you something right now: calling anybody a racist who does not proudly admit such a stance is beyond inflammatory. It is character assassination. That is one of the things that gets under my skin quicker than anything else a person can say. Right behind it are insinuations that I am a hatemonger, an “Uncle Tom”, or a self-loathing closet case. Don’t fling such labels around so carelessly while you accuse me of making supposed “inflammatory statements”.

    As a matter of fact, I know from personal experience – as do many conservatives – that you cannot identify a Muslim on sight. If you’d actually clicked on the links to the two Arizona state prison inmates I listed, you’d know that they were both black. They were both born and raised right here in the US. I also pointed out the fact that Jose Padilla, convicted of helping plan 9/11, was Hispanic. There was John Walker Lindh, the American teenager caught fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. Several white Americans, including Adam Gadhan, have been converted, some of them in prison. You completely and entirely missed my point and moved directly on to the accusation that conservatives are all uneducated, backwater hicks who hate immigrants from the Middle East.

    Violence against Muslims skyrocketed after 9/11? That’s rich. I know of one confirmed case of anti-Muslim crime, and it was actually a man from India – a sheikh – that was killed by a lone lunatic who was flatly panned by conservatives on the whole. The only claimed case in Arizona was an ASU student who was found to have invented the crimes he was supposedly experiencing. If you have specifics, please list them. Since I’m sure you aren’t in the business of providing proof, give me enough to research on my own at the very least.

    Please, do not lecture me on the virtues of what the penal system should be. Your belief in the root of the word “penal” is incorrect; the root is actually the Latin word “poenalis”, which literally translates to “penalty”. Research it. I wrote an entire paper on the history of penal laws (my professor’s single complaint was that it was too long). I have no illusion that you will agree with me, but the purpose of the prison system is not to give people time to think about what they’ve done – it is to punish their crimes and send a message to others that thuggish behavior has no place in civilized society and will not be tolerated. They have plenty of time to lift weights, play games, watch TV, listen to music, read, and figure out new and amazing ways to get around the rules that say such archaic things as “no weapons” and “keep your hands to yourself”.

    Don’t cry about the “brutalization” of prison inmates. They brutalize themselves. They brutalize each other. I’ve had men easily twice my size and three times my strength attack me, and let me tell you, I learned that these people are playing us. They prey on society first by violently victimizing innocent people (sometimes not violently, but even white-collar criminals deserve to be put away), then they prey again by playing the system and working it to their advantage. You’ll have to pardon me, but I have a hell of a hard time feeling sorry for a person who has raped, tortured, and murdered someone. Not when I know life in prison isn’t going to be terribly difficult. As an officer, I had inmates curse me up one side and back down the other – yet if I so much as uttered a “hell no” or “dammit”, they were complaining that I had offended them. They practice slugging a person and then giving up immediately after landing the punch so that they can’t be touched after the fact. I saw another officer get his face shattered by an inmate doing that – and the officer he attacked was the nicest guy I knew. He was a hell of a lot nicer than I was.

    Your comment that Christians are seeking ways to kill large numbers of innocent Americans to bring down this country would be hysterical if it weren’t for the fact that you genuinely believe it. The problem is that there is not only no proof to back such a belief up, but there is all the evidence in the world to prove that Christians are quite the opposite nowadays. Tell me – without using abortion clinic bombings or mention of the Hutaree group, both of which were soundly rejected by 99.9% of the Christians in America ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS – how many cases have there been of large, well-trained, well-funded, and well-organized groups of Christians trying to commit acts of terror on a large scale in America?

    Exactly. None.

    Oh, and by the way…it’s MISS Maguire. I am a woman. It is clear you didn’t do your homework.

  5. No, never came close to calling you a racist, MISS Maguire. No, didn’t assert that Muslim was a race. No, never accused conservatives of anything. No, didn’t miss any of your points. No, didn’t cry about the state of the prison system. No, did not state the basis for the word “penal”, but “penitentiary”. Yes, stated that prison was a brutal and violent place, to which you gave agreement: “They brutalize themselves. They brutalize each other”. No, I don’t believe Christians are trying to bring down the government or commit murder or both; I believe SOME Christians, SOME Jews, SOME Muslims–crackpots of all stripes, Miss Maguire–will do this. We like to say that these people are not real Christians or Jews, because they don’t behave according to the tenets of the faith. That’s how your average Muslim feels about the actions of radicals. And, no, I don’t consider researching your gender part of my homework.

    If you don’t know that anti Muslim hate crimes increased dramatically after 9/11, and you feel you need me to submit my sources on this well known, well documented fact, try this: Google something like, oh, prevalence of anti Muslim hate crime after 9/11. I would have thought that someone who had written an “entire paper” might have an idea how to go about such fundamental research methods. I could spare you the work and provide you my sources. Then you could be as creative in disqualifying them as you were in responding to my post.

    I expressed my points without accusations, name calling, stupidity or bias. Your response was shameful. It would appear that you don’t care about intellectual honesty. You just want to win the argument by shouting louder, making wild accusations, and basically using violent and inflammatory language to convince your readers and discourage any dissent. After all, anyone whose comments have been as twisted as mine were would agree that it’s just not worth bothering about posting a response. Believe me, I’m not doing it for you. I’m doing it for your audience.

    So, to the readers out there, I am sure that I can be wrong. If so, I’d like to have my error pointed out to me. Miss Maguire did not engage in this argument in good faith. She is trying to play you. I’m not being disrespectful of conservatives. You certainly have a point of view worthy of defending. When I responded to Steve’s remark, I said it made me laugh to realize that I believed conservatives are the first to make inflammatory remarks. By this I meant that I know it’s time to dispense with prejudice and get down to solving our problems. I will have to keep on looking for real conservatives who are not afraid of intellectual discussion. No, I don’t think conservatives are less intellectual than liberals. I do think that radicalized conservatives are, like any radicalized individual, incapable of real debate. It’s my view that Miss Maguire is radicalized. As if that weren’t bad enough, I suspect her character is flawed as well. I caution you against taking her seriously, because it’s clear to me that she is a liar. That inflammatory remark is intentional. She’s earned it. This is where I leave you. Good luck!

  6. I gave you plenty of intellectual discussion, you just didn’t like the fact that I pointed out your foibles. There’s nothing radical about me – you simply dislike my beliefs. That is your problem. You can make whatever judgement you wish about my character, but do NOT call me a liar. You can’t point out a single lie in anything I’ve said. You only call me a liar because I proved you wrong and you didn’t appreciate it. If you wish to be understood then you need to make yourself slightly more clear. If you didn’t say the things I took from your comment, then you sure had a funny way of articulating your point.

    Since you are likely not going to drive my “audience” away, I bid you good luck as well. Keep lying to yourself if it helps you sleep.

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