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Michael Grunwald and the moral question of defensive and retaliatory force against statist cheerleaders

20 Aug
Time’s Michael Grunwald, Who Wants the Government To “Tread on Me,” Also Wants Julian Assange Droned

Time‘s Michael Grunwald is threatening Julian Assange with proposed drone strikes; may Assange take Grunwald out first, sending a drone or hit man to Grunwald’s South Beach (Miami) home, as long as, unlike Grunwald’s hero Obama, he doesn’t also kill Grunwald’s wife Cristina Dominguez and their children?

It’s not hard to find out where he lives.  The South Beach property tax records are on line:


Here’s a drone’s eye view of his million dollar home, just off Alton.

You can rent one down the block at 1420 Lenox for a little over $5,000 a month.

The Ideology Behind Michael Grunwald’s Repugnant Tweet

The Time correspondent wrote, “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”

julian assange full full.jpg

This is Julian Assange of Wikileaks, whose murder would be terrible, seeing as how he’s a human being.(Reuters)
On Saturday, Michael Grunwald, a senior correspondent at Time, stoked controversy by stating, “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.” The Tweet triggered an immediate backlash among people who believe that murder is wrong, and that expressing preemptive delight at the prospect of defending murder is wrongheaded and repugnant. Shortly thereafter, Grunwald apologized to his followers, called his Tweet “dumb,” and deleted it. Folks on Twitter called for his job. Even though, as Amy Davidson noted at the New Yorker, “Grunwald seems a bit oblivious as to what was wrong with what he said,” I’m allergic to anyone being fired over any one Tweet, especially if they express regret for sending it.

We’re all better than we are at our worst moments*.

It is nevertheless worth dwelling on his Tweet a moment longer, because it illuminates a type that is common but seldom pegged in America. You see, Grunwald is a radical ideologue. It’s just that almost no one recognizes it. The label “radical ideologue” is usually used to describe members of the John Birch society or Noam Chomsky. We think of radical ideologues as occupying the far right or left. Lately a lot of people seem to think that The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald is a radical (often they wrongly conflate the style with which he expresses his views with their substance).

But Grunwald graduated from Harvard, spent a decade at the Washington Post, and now works as a senior correspondent at Time. How radical could someone with that resume possibly be?

Extremely so.

That doesn’t mean that he’s a bad guy, or that he shouldn’t be a journalist. But as someone who finds Grunwald’s ideology as problematic and wrongheaded as I’m sure he finds aspects of my worldview, I tire of the fact that people who share it are treated as pragmatic centrists, while their critics, whether on the libertarian right or the civil liberties left, are dismissed as impractical ideologues.

Grunwald’s Tweet took a lot of centrists by surprise, as if it was way beyond the pale. And I think it was!

But it didn’t surprise me.

Read the rest at The Atlantic Wire.