Monday, July 16, 2007

There's a New Loon in Minnesota

It's been quite a while since Jesse "the body" Ventura gave Minnesotans a truly offbeat public figure. I remember when "Our Governor is Crazier Than Your Governor" was the slogan of the moment.

Those were the days!

Perhaps it's best to regard Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison as someone stepping into the long-vacant straitjacket of Governor Ventura.

On Sunday, July 8, Representative Ellison compared the 9/11 attack to the burning of the Reichstag in 1933.

In another article about his "Reichstag" remark, I learned that Congressman Ellison has clarified his remarks.

Tuesday, July 10, speaking to Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he said that he thought Osama bin Laden was responsible for the Twin Towers going down. His Reichstag reference was intended to make the point that, "in the aftermath of a tragedy, space is opened up for governments to take action that they could not have achieved before that."

The actions of President Bush which he said were equivalent to the German chancellor's decree ending protection of political, personal and property rights was the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence and some provisions of the Patriot Act.

These are debatable actions, but a careful observer might find subtle distinctions between these actions of the Bush administration and what happened after the German chancellor and his party took power: "Truckloads of stormtroopers roared through the streets all over Germany, breaking into homes, rounding up victims and carting them off to [Brownshirt] barracks, where they were tortured and beaten." (William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," as quoted in Kersten's column.)

I agree with the sentiment expressed in Kersten's headline: Katherine Kersten: Ellison's use of Reichstag fire goes overboard.

Kersten's column is the first place where I've seen mention of Representative Ellison's colorful background:
  • 1990s Connections with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam
  • Defense of Kathleen Soliah, planter of pipe bombs under two Los Angeles police cars
  • Praise for Assata Shakur, convicted of killing a cop, and who now resides in Cuba.

Let's give Representative Ellison credit: aside from a brief lapse during his first few months in Congress, he hasn't abandon his beliefs.

Keith Ellison posts:As the first Islamic member of the American Congress, Representative Ellison deserves some attention. There may be more K.E. posts, given his colorful past associations and current talent for getting in the news.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.