Pimped Out: Filmmaker James O’Keefe and Son of U.S. Attorney Arrested in Possible Effort to Bug Office of Sen. Mary Landrieu

In what must be great news for ACORN, the filmmaker that was responsible for the recent controversy has been arrested in a bizarre effort to bug the offices of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Filmmaker James O’Keefe (shown left) was reportedly arrested with other individuals in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans. Also arrested were Joseph Basel, 24, Stan Dai , 24, and Robert Flanagan, 24. Notably, Flanagan is the son of the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. I discussed the story on the Countdown segment below. O’Keefe previously dressed as a pimp to implicate Acorn in a videotaped interview.


The men reportedly entered the federal building at 500 Poydras Street about 11 a.m. Monday, dressed as telephone company employees, wearing jeans, fluorescent green vests, tool belts, and hard hats. O’Keefe reportedly was videotaping the operation with his cellphone.

This is a very serious violation for all involved. This is a terribly sad day for William J. Flanagan, who I doubt had any knowledge or hint of this activity.

I cannot imagine anything quite as stupid as this operation. Whatever credibility O’Keefe had with conservatives just evaporated with any future that he had. Even the sponsor of a resolution praising O’Keefe seems to be moving to distance himself from the filmmaker, here. One organization has already canceled a keynote by O’Keefe, here.

It is hard to imagine an obvious defense, though all of the facts are not yet disclosed. There is a host of differences between a stunt in an Acorn office and this alleged stunt in a senatorial office.

They have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony. However, that is likely only the first charge. There are a host of additional charges, particularly if the prosecutor support the widespread speculation of an alleged conspiracy to wiretap the office of a federal official. It is not clear if the authorities confirmed an effort to wiretap or found such equipment — as opposed to another prank-like video. Moreover, I would expect other possible arrests. Usually there are other individuals with knowledge of such a boneheaded plan. As for Flannagan’s father, he is in Shreveport and thus not necessarily involved in any official capacity. Obviously, he will be insulated from any role in any investigation under standard procedures for conflicts.

The men appear charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1036, “Entry by false pretenses to any real property, vessel, or aircraft of the United States or secure area of any airport or seaport.” This provision states:

Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter–
(1) any real property belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States;
(2) any vessel or aircraft belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States;
(3) any secure or restricted area of any seaport, designated as secure in an approved security plan, as required under section 70103 of title 46, United States Code, and the rules and regulations promulgated under that section; or
(4) any secure area of any airport,
shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) of this section is–
(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if the offense is committed with the intent to commit a felony; or
(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both, in any other case.

(c) As used in this section–
(1) the term “secure area” means an area access to which is restricted by the airport authority, captain of the seaport, or a public agency; and
(2) the term “airport” has the meaning given such term in section 47102 of title 49.

The affidavit refers to an intent to interfere with the telephone system. It does not refer to finding surveillance equipment while it does refer to an effort to gain access to the main control board for the telephone system. It also indicates that two of the suspects already made incriminating statements.

A number of possible charges are possible depending on how the evidence unfolds.

First, there is “the prosecutor’s darling” conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. 371, which makes it is a crime for “two or more persons [to] conspire … to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.” There are roughly twenty other conspiracy crimes in the federal code in addition to section 371.

Then there is the possibility of electronic surveillance charges from attempted interception to possession of surveillance equipment if such evidence is confirmed. Section 2511 states:

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter any person who—
(a) intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication;
(b) intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when—
(i) such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or
(ii) such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication; or
(iii) such person knows, or has reason to know, that such device or any component thereof has been sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iv) such use or endeavor to use (A) takes place on the premises of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or (B) obtains or is for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the operations of any business or other commercial establishment the operations of which affect interstate or foreign commerce; or
(v) such person acts in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;
(c) intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;
(d) intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or
(e)
(i) intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, intercepted by means authorized by sections 2511 (2)(a)(ii), 2511 (2)(b)–(c), 2511(2)(e), 2516, and 2518 of this chapter,
(ii) knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation,
(iii) having obtained or received the information in connection with a criminal investigation, and
(iv) with intent to improperly obstruct, impede, or interfere with a duly authorized criminal investigation,
shall be punished as provided in subsection (4) or shall be subject to suit as provided in subsection (5).

Section 2512 deals directly with any electronic surveillance device:

(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, any person who intentionally –

* (a) sends through the mail, or sends or carries in interstate or foreign commerce, any electronic, mechanical, or other device, knowing or having reason to know that the design of such device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications;
* (b) manufactures, assembles, possesses, or sells any electronic, mechanical, or other device, knowing or having reason to know that the design of such device renders it primarily useful for the purpose of the surreptitious interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications, and that such device or any component thereof has been or will be sent through the mail or transported in interstate or foreign commerce;

Depending on who they spoke to in the course of this day, they could also conceivably face charges under 18 U.S.C. 1001, in giving false information to federal officers. The provision:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any
matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or
judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly
and willfully –
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or
device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent
statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the
same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent
statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years
or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as
defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or
both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B,
110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed
under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

For the original affidavit, click here.

For the full story, click here and here.

63 thoughts on “Pimped Out: Filmmaker James O’Keefe and Son of U.S. Attorney Arrested in Possible Effort to Bug Office of Sen. Mary Landrieu

  1. Hey my real daddy’s a Federal Prosecutor, he’s not really a pimp. I bet the belt is coming out tonight and his ass will shine bright deep in LA.

  2. Professor Turley wrote: “I cannot imagine anything quite as stupid as this operation.”

    Just imagine a thing called, “Watergate.”

  3. “Usually there are other individuals with knowledge of such a boneheaded plan. As for Flannagan’s ”

    Like Bonnie says,that little thing called “watergate”=dejavu.

    That started out as nothing to,if I remember correctly.

    But back then we did have some honorable people,representing us and that is why the truth came out.We have some now but,well we’ll see what happens,if anything.

  4. I swear that “I will be on Countdown to discuss the story tonight.” wasn’t there when I posted my comment. I think ….

  5. Nal:
    From that link you posted I thought this comment was funny.

    “Maybe they were trying to get a Foxnews show,instead they will be on a Foxnetwork show “COPS”!”

  6. what is the why? there is no earthly reason to have done this. all I can say is what a maroon.
    Piss your life away, maybe he had a thing for Mary L. she was sorta hot when she was younger.

    Mud bug fever maybe? Crawfish love? Bad etouffee? Who knows.

  7. This boy is in deep shit. If he goes to prison, well, somebody gonna be poppin da question.

    You wanna be da husbans or you wanna be da wife? either way drop it like it’s hot.

  8. Bdaman:

    he will definitely learn the lesson of “mudbug love” in prison. If I were him I would be sh . . .ng myself about now. If I were him I would be at the gastroenterologist getting a colostomy and having my a . . . hole sewn shut.

  9. Had they simply claimed they were doing the wiretaps for national security reasons, the FISA Court would have signed off on it post facto and Dick Cheney would even now be hailing them as warriors in the War on Terror!

    Poor legal advice I assume. Where’s Yoo when you need him?

  10. Byron:
    “If I were him I would be at the gastroenterologist getting a colostomy and having my a . . . hole sewn shut.”

    That brings to mind what(may he rest in peace)Richard Pryor said about prison,even with the procedures you mention,they would still do it just to see the look on your face.

  11. Okay boys, we know you’re not the four brightest bulbs in the conservative alley but dim as you may be, can any of you now spell F-E-L-O-N-Y?

  12. “Hey my real daddy’s a Federal Prosecutor, he’s not really a pimp. I bet the belt is coming out tonight and his ass will shine bright deep in LA.”

    Bullshit- his father put him up to it.

  13. I’d like to make one quick comment. I saw Dr Turley on the Countdown this evening and he was talking about what the possible underlying felony charge might be. Just a thought and its probably wrong but I was wondering about “hacking” charges and laws.

    There is a common technique known as “Social Engineering” that is used by hackers to gain physical access to secure systems, passwords and “wiring closets”. The wiring closet is the central location for all voice AND data traffic. I read the story on AP and they said that the two asked for access to the wiring closet (which is where a GSA employee on his toes challenged them for ID and busted them) because the main line was not working.

    Well, if they had gotten to the wiring closet they would have not just had access to the Senators telephone. They’d have had access to her email, internal communications, and if they were any good even her computer. Its just as easy to tap a LAN switch or a T1 as it is a telephone and send the data off site to wireless receiver. Voice and data traffic is usually synonymous these days and if not it’s still in the same closet. The main data circuits will either be the same circuits that the phone signals travel over or they are terminated right next to them. Either way once you’re in the “wiring closet” you’ve got the keys to the kingdom so to speak if you know what you’re doing.

    So I wonder if any of the newer Hacker laws dealing with computer and network security might be involved? Social Engineering for the purpose of gaining unauthorized access is after all a felony. I believe its covered under the Federal Computer Security Act, not sure which year but one of them.

    And Dr Turley said it was probably something “solid”. Something “firm” that they’d build their case on. So if that’s true then this would fit that requirement. After all they are clearly guilty of social engineering to gain access to the phone (and data) system.

    We know they;

    1. Identified themselves as telephone repairmen.
    2. We know they are not telephone repairmen.
    3. We know they asked for access to the wiring closet.

    Thus, Social Engineering for unauthorized access to a computer\telephone network is apparent. Could it be that maybe? Or something like that? Something having to do with Computer and Network security laws (which are built around telco laws)?

  14. I smell a stinking, Republican rat in this amazing story. I wonder what other offices this felon-to-be has visited? Where is Deep Throat when you need him?

  15. Another possible it seems and this isn’t exactly what I had in mind but this law on “pretexting” might be applicable, right?

    I’m pretty sure pretexting is synonymous social engineering from a practical sense as it involves obtaining through deception. And given that George W Bush signed a law stating that pretexting of telephone records is a federal felony that carries up to 10 years in jail I wonder if this would be applicable as well. After all gaining access to the telephone system would be akin to gaining the records right? Telephone system logs could be considered records right? So if you access the central phone system you can copy the logs, right? And if you gain access to that phone system using deception then that’s pretexting telephone records, isn’t it? Maybe that’s reaching I don’t know but seems to me telephone system logs (which can be downloaded as text files and a text file is a document) could constitute telephone records.

    Here’s the law referenced that I found in Wiki for pretexting telephone records;

    :”In December 2006, United States Congress approved a Senate sponsored bill making the pretexting of telephone records a federal felony with fines of up to $250,000 and ten years in prison for individuals (or fines of up to $500,000 for companies). It was signed by president George W. Bush on January 12, 2007″: -Wiki

    And here’s the entry on pretexting;

    “Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a targeted victim to release information or perform an action and is typically done over the telephone. It is more than a simple lie as it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g. for impersonation: date of birth, Social Security Number, last bill amount) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target. ”

    Now it says its “usually” done on the telephone but it doesn’t say always. And it involves the act of “creating and using an invented scenario to persuade a targeted victim to release information or perform an action”, which clearly mister Okeefe did. They pretended to be telephone workers to trick the victims into giving them access to the telephone closet, which once accessed could have provided them with telephone records via phone system logs or even directly tapping the phones and logging them themselves.

  16. Apparently William J. Flanagan is the acting US Attorney after (Former U.S. Attorney) Donald W. Washington resigned. It appears that the Obama administration has yet to nominate anyone for the post. Washington a Bush appointee resigned January 7, 2010 effective January 20, 2010.

    The question is why hasn’t Obama filled these posts with “loyal” folks yet?

  17. Obama has nominated Stephanie Finley for US Attorney for LA’s Western District. The nomination is being blocked by Sen. Vitter.

  18. Hahahaha. Didn’t you see the context? The lead in with the black defendant to soften the blow of what was to come was the TOUCH, and the hint of surprise and seeming confusion and disbelief was the GO or should one say GONE. Memo to Mr O’Keefe, FOX News does not have your back. Good luck and god speed. That federal whip is going to leave a mark.
    Lots of praying boys.Hahahahahaha……

  19. I smell a set up of the main stream media.

    I think that this is a stunt to put Acorn back in the limelight.

    When the story broke about Acorn on the internet, the mainstream media did not report it. When Climategate broke out on the internet the main stream media did not report it for 14 days and even then, stories were printed from the websites and hand delivered by letter carriers to CBS, NBC, ABC, ect. Then downplayed as taken out of context.

    Giles was released last night. I have read a couple of articles this morning that says don’t be too quick to judge.

    It would be really funny if it is a prank on the MSM.

  20. “It would be really funny if it is a prank on the MSM”

    You mean like the old”Candid Camera”show?

    At least there evryone would laugh and go home,not to jail.:-))

  21. Bdaman:

    they may think it is a prank, but clearly the officials do not. Personally I am wondering if Andrew Brietbart put him up to this. Why would a 25 year old throw his life away like that? Was he delusional after the press he got? Did he think he was the caped crusader? He is either, very smart, very stupid, naive or a combination of all three.

    I wonder when the reality of what he did will hit home?

  22. Breitbart says arrest not related to BigGovernment, but he’s paying alleged wiretap plotter O’Keefe “a fair salary”
    January 26, 2010 9:54 pm ET by Media Matters staff

    Yesterday, ACORN videographer James O’Keefe was arrested for an alleged plot to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phone. Andrew Breitbart, whose website BigGovernment.com published O’Keefe’s ACORN videos, stated that he pays O’Keefe a “fair salary” so that “when he puts a story out there, it’s on the Breitbart sites, the Big sites, that he can tell people what transpired.” Breitbart also said that O’Keefe “was not involved in anything that was related to Big Government, or Breitbart.com” when he was arrested

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201001260064

  23. Form the Huffington Post:

    “A federal law enforcement official said one of the suspects was picked up in a car a couple of blocks away with a listening device that could pick up transmissions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not part of the FBI affidavit.”

    Hmmm? What would someone have in their car that could pick up transmissions?

    Mongo? I bet he could pick up transmissions!
    Cell phone? It can send and receive transmissions
    Radio? That could be it. He had a radio in his car. What evil genius figured out how to put a radio in the car? Mayor West should be informed about this.

  24. Byron, the questions you raise are the same reason why I think it must be a prank. As AY pointed out to Bonnie,” they wanted to get caught” there may be more truth to that statement than one can believe. I would like to see his video he recorded.

  25. Salt Lake County Republicans are scrambling to line up a new keynote fundraising speaker after the arrest Tuesday of their scheduled first choice, filmmaker James O’Keefe, on charges of attempting to tamper with the phone system of a U.S. Senator.

    “The allegations and arrest today certainly changes our plans,” county GOP Chairman Thomas Wright said in a telephone interview with The Tribune . “We’ll be announcing a new speaker shortly.” […]

    “We’re disappointed,” he said of O’Keefe’s arrest on felony charges. “He doesn’t necessarily represent the Republican Party.”

  26. “He doesn’t necessarily represent the Republican Party.”

    Well I guess that no one represents the party better than he. I guess everyone dissociated with this person once he made the initial films. I bet he knows how Scooter Libby now feels. When you are up, you are up. When you get caught who will be the first to kick sand in your eyes?

    Thanks ECookie, you were not supposed to divulge you and I are one in the same. People will now talk.

  27. “He doesn’t necessarily represent the Republican Party.”

    I think that means O’Keefe represents the Republican Party only when he is dressed as a pimp.

  28. But EmpireCookie, Not all pimps are Republican. Some pimps actually have to get others to do the dirty. Oh, wait a minute. There may not be much difference either way.

    Lets check, do real pimps vote? Hard to tell, what is meant by voting.

    Do pimps donate to there favorite charity? Yes, themselves.

    Do Pimps have attorneys and bail bondsmen on retainer?

    I guess you are correct, not much difference after going through the facts.

  29. “We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office,” Breitbart declared in a statement shortly after the story broke late Tuesday afternoon.

    A few hours later, Breitbart had more to say on Big Government — accusing the “Mainstream Media,” ACORN and Media Matters of “jumping to conclusions” and smearing O’Keefe and his co-defendants.

    “Let me state clearly for the record: wiretapping is wrong. But until I hear the full story from James O’Keefe, I will not speculate as to what he was doing in Louisiana,” Breitbart said.

    In other words, stay tuned.

  30. Mr. Turley emphasizes in both his article and in the Countdown clip that O’Keefe and cohorts face “very serious charges”. If this is true, why was bale set so low (a mere $10,000)? It seems that if the charges are in fact very serious, that bale should have been considerably higher. Anyone have any insights on this?

  31. As the words of an old Black hymn goes, “If you dig one ditch you had better dig two ’cause the one you dig just might be for you.”
    As Acorn stated, “Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.”

  32. My sense of it is that Mr. O’Keefe has become a victim of his own fame. He was treated as a Major American Hero following release of the ACORN video because conservatives have long opposed that organization. He quickly became the darling of the conservative media, making numerous appearances, and began to believe what they were saying about them. He gradually came to perceive himself as a new and invincible force for truth, justice and investigative journalism. Filled with this new-found hubris, he determined to “investigate” Sen. Landrieu based upon something someone said to him. Unfortunately, he forgot that even investigative journalists are subject to the criminal code. Oops. Now his conservative friends are quickly distancing themselves, without even waiting for an adjudication of guilt. There is no presumption of innocence for baby politicians.

  33. Nal
    1, January 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm
    I swear that “I will be on Countdown to discuss the story tonight.” wasn’t there when I posted my comment. I think ….

    ——–
    The Professor is just playing with our minds. He can be a cruel master :-)

  34. Duh
    “Hmmm? What would someone have in their car that could pick up transmissions?”
    —-

    Don’t be disingenuous. The same technology works on any phone with an in-line interceptor, playing dumb won’t get these guys off either. Well, maybe it will, this is about politics after all, not purely law:

    http://www.phonelosers.org/article/recording_telephone_calls/

    Go down to ‘Tapping Home Phones’ Easily doable from a remote location as long as they get an in-range parking spot. Even I understand the technology; that means it’s reached the lowest common denominator and readily available.

  35. Byron

    “they may think it is a prank, but clearly the officials do not. Personally I am wondering if Andrew Brietbart put him up to this. Why would a 25 year old throw his life away like that? Was he delusional after the press he got? Did he think he was the caped crusader? He is either, very smart, very stupid, naive or a combination of all three.”

    I see some people speculating that he was investigating why Mary Landrieu’s phones always seem to be busy. Are they switched off on purpose during controversial legislation?

  36. lottakatz,

    Lighten Up! It was an attempt at humor. You do remember humor? The statement by the FBI Agent was so vague, that I found it worthless. So I (attempted) to make light of it.

    I’m a working stiff; just like you. I’m not the bad guy. I’m just somebody that has a different perspective, and offers my own opinion. I’m not an undercover agent for the ______ (fill in the blank). I don’t get paid to voice my opinion.

    You can’t buld an army capable of defeating the enemy by alienating EVERYONE who doesn’t agree with you on EVERYTHING. When you figure out that we have much more in common, than those few areas in which we disagree, you’ll then be able to overcome the real threats.

  37. Duh, “lottakatz, Lighten Up! It was an attempt at humor. You do remember humor?

    Vaguely. Humor can be difficult in print. I use the smiley emoticon a lot and I know it appears to be a juvenile affectation but I have gotten in trouble when I did not do so and was not attempting to.

    Also, you’re such an extremist on some subjects that I don’t know how to take some of your statements. Don’t deny it, you have some seriously extremist views. How do I know? We recognize our own :-)

  38. rafflaw , “I will repeat myself. Can you spell Watergate??”


    I hear ya’ brother. It was all about the cover-up; everything made public flowed from that. It was when the Senate still had some honorable men as I recall. The MSNBC story (below in its entirety)looks like the first move in limiting damage. Of course, this episode won’t get really interesting until we move into the “modified, limited hang-out” phase. Ghod, I loved the Watergate hearings.

    There have been a couple of interesting updates to the story:

    “Landrieu phone plot: Men arrested have links to intelligence community”

    “The three accused by the FBI of “aiding and abetting” O’Keefe are Stan Dai, Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel. O’Keefe is 25, and the other three are 24.

    Dai’s links to the intelligence community appear to be particularly strong. He was a speaker at Georgetown University’s Central Intelligence Agency summer school program in June 2009, and is also listed as an Assistant Director at the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity in D.C.”

    …”Dai has been an undergraduate fellow with the Washington-based national security think tank Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies (FDD), ”

    http://rawstory.com/2010/01/men-charged-attempting-bug-landrieus-office-intelligence-links/

    This also:

    “From NBC’s Pete Williams

    A law enforcement official says the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls.

    Instead, the official says, the men, led by conservative videomaker James O’Keefe, wanted to see how her local office staff would respond if the phones were inoperative. They were apparently motivated, the official says, by criticism that when Sen. Landrieu became a big player in the health care debate, people in Louisiana were having a hard time getting through on the phones to register their views.

    That is, the official says, what led the four men to pull this stunt — to see how the local staffers would react if the phones went out. Would the staff just laugh it off, or would they express great concern that local folks couldn’t get through?”

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/01/27/2187074.aspx

  39. I think Andrew Knows something.

    A1 to A73 in 24 Hours: The Life and Death of ‘Watergate Jr.

    by Andrew Breitbart

    For those in the mainstream media committed to report the false and libelous narrative of “Watergate Jr.,” “wiretapping” and “bugging,” I predict much egg on your J-school grad faces. In your rush to judgment to convict James O’Keefe and his companions, you vengeful political partisans of press forgot to ponder: “Was Mr. O’Keefe up to one of his patented and obvious clown nose-on hidden camera tricks, trying to make his subjects look foolish?” Blog commenters seem to be quicker on the uptake than six-figured Washington-based pundits these days. And I predict there will be tape to vindicate these four pranksters, too.

  40. lottakatz said “[Y]ou’re such an extremist on some subjects that I don’t know how to take some of your statements. Don’t deny it, you have some seriously extremist views.”

    Extremist? Is that the way opposing views are defined? I guess that’s the easy way out. I guess that grants permission to be dismissive. Anyone who doesn’t share the same views (or at least close to the same views) is an extremist?

    Maybe your definition of “extremist” is different than mine. In my view, an extremist is one who goes over the top to demonstrate their views. The guy who shot Dr. Tiller. The shoe-bomber. The guy who went to live with grizzly bears. The guy who shot people at the holocaust museum. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow. Those are extremist.

    Are you sure you don’t use the word “extremist” just to give yourself permission to ignore alternative ideas?

    I will put you to task, and ask that you demonstrate my “extremist views”. Was it due to my view, that criminal activity in the workplace should be enough reason to terminate an employee? Or is it that I operate my own business?

    If it feels like I am poking fun at you for calling me an extremist; I am. I’m not doing it in a mean-spirited way. I’m doing it to show how ridiculous it is to apply extremism to any and all oposition.

  41. Duh,

    Did I not explain the use/my use of emoticons? Did I not cast the statement in the comedic format of association or projection? Do you not get the joke which is implicit? That we both hold views that are extremist is virtually beside the point, though true. How do I know you are an extremist? I recognise the trait in you from my familiarity with the nature of some my own views.

  42. I feel it is incumbent to point out that no one knows all the facts of this situation yet and speculating about it in the blogosphere is just a waste of bits. However, I do feel it is important to point out that if the “Pimp-gate” 4 are using the defense that they “wanted to see how the senator’s staff would react to the phones being down”, they are still screwed. Namely, title 18 Part 1, Chapter 65, section 1362:

    Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions of the United States, whether constructed or in process of construction, or willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously obstructs, hinders, or delays the transmission of any communication over any such line, or system, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

    Oops.

  43. lottakatz,

    Sorry for the overreaction. I didn’t apply the smily face to the entire paragraph. Mea culpa.

    I’ve worn so many labels here that it can sometimes be hard to turn off the defensive mode. I will try to do better in the future.

    BTW, You might want to check into Oakville Farmer’s Market. I don’t know anything about it, but it looks to be less than 10 miles away from Arnold. The number is (314) 293-2700‎. It’s on Telegraph Rd.

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