Green Room

Who Says Liberals Are Weak on Homeland Security?

posted at 4:17 pm on February 7, 2010 by

Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch — that’s all we conservatives ever do when it comes to discussions of how effective liberals are at protecting the homeland. Why, back shortly after 9/11, when the distinguished journalist Phil Donahue appeared on FOX News Channel to decry “Cowboy” George Bush’s plans to invade Afghanistan rather than simply “find and arrest the responsible individuals,” one conservative who shall remain nameless characterized Donahue as a “goggle-eyed loon.” P.S., I haven’t received holiday greetings from the Donahues ever since!

You don’t think liberals are watching our backs? You’re wrong, and I’ll prove it. Consider the swift and decisive action officials took last week in Staten Island, New York, in the apprehension of Patrick Timonthy. On Friday, Timonthy showed up a P.S. 52, a local elementary school, brandishing an automatic assault rifle. There is no telling what might have transpired had it not been for the quick reflexes and courage of principal Evelyn Matroianni, who at great personal sacrifice, forced Timonthy to the ground in the school cafeteria and wrested the weapon away from him.

After which she frog-marched Timonthy, by this point in tears, to her office, where she promptly phoned his mother.

Oh, did I omit the fact that Patrick Timonthy is a fourth-grade student in the school? Or that the rifle in question is two inches long and manufactured by the makers of LEGOs?

If so, I probably also neglected to mention that the New York City Board of Education enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy toward bringing weapons onto the school grounds. Now there is something in that by-law about a school employee’s use of personal discretion in sizing up a “situation” and about the disciplinary measures that follow a breach.

Now some may feel that Principal Matroianni overreacted to the threat potential of a two-inch long weapon. Others may feel that a suspension of Patrick Timonthy — which hasn’t been ruled out yet! — is perhaps extreme.

I say, “Do the crime, do the time.” I don’t care if the perp is 9 or 90. (Actually, those ages have much in common when it comes to comparative threat potential.) I say throw the book at him.

My only caveat is to be sure to read Timonthy his Miranda rights. That’s what the Justice Department under Eric Holder does when they capture someone who poses a threat to homeland security arises. And look how safe we are with that bunch watching our backs!

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


Do you have a link to the original story? Arrested for a LEGO weapon?! Sounds pretty hard to believe, but then again it is NY.

jwolf on February 8, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The child wasn’t arrested. He was disciplined. Here’s a link.

Howard Portnoy on February 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Thanks for the link. Yeah, I was exaggerating with “arrested.” The whole thing is silly. They don’t trust teachers and administrators to make responsible decisions, so they put in a massive zero tolerance policy against just about everything. Dumb.

jwolf on February 8, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Another big “thank you” to the lawyers in the world. Over fear of lawsuits, “zero tolerance” becomes a lot easier to do brainless, but “fair” actions without having to use common sense or make actual decisions.

DrAllecon on February 9, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Zero Tolerance needs to be flushed, along with its cousin, Three Strikes.

Judges should have the option of differentiating between offenses that are similar by statute and completely different in the real world in which we all must live.

Of course bad judges exist, but that’s no reason to warp the entire judicial system into a tyrannical one-size-fits-all perversion of justice.

hillbillyjim on February 9, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The Federal sentencing guidelines were created because the electorate felt too many Federal Judges were too lenient in sentencing. And Congress didn’t want to impeach the Judges, so that they could be replaced by less lenient Judges, it wouldn’t do to create the impression that the Federal Judiciary was actually accountable.

Three Strikes is the result of a similar dynamic at the State level.

IMO, the correct response to people who cannot properly exercise discretion, whether they be Judges or teachers or school administrators, is to fire them and replace them with people who can.

And the correct response to frivolous lawsuits is to penalize the lawyer, who as an officer of the court should know better than to be bringing a frivolous lawsuit in the first place, and the vexatious litigant. Lawyers and judges are too cozy with each other, so it falls to the victims to sue for malicious prosecution.

LarryD on February 9, 2010 at 12:52 PM

LarryD on February 9, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Well said, sir.

Thank you.

hillbillyjim on February 9, 2010 at 1:01 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

A familiar GOP pattern when in power: Squabbling

Andrew Malcolm Jun 29, 2017 10:01 AM
Top Pick

Not exactly teamwork.

Top Pick

Merkel plots confrontation on climate change.

Button it up.

“I repeat I am innocent of these charges. They are false.”

Just a reminder: People will die

Allahpundit Jun 28, 2017 10:41 PM

“Whipped cream’s killing more people than ever before.”

Medicare for all?

“There comes a point where you gotta get off the crazy train.”

Poll: Dem voters glumly sticking with Pelosi

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 8:41 PM

Disaster ahead?

“When she left it, it was in better shape than it had ever been.”

Manafort, firm registers as foreign agents

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 6:41 PM

Better late than never?

Delivered as promised

“I would like to think that the president saved many innocent men, women and children.”

“The Russia investigation was by far the dominant topic…”

The merry little media war continues.

Criminal enterprise

Politico: Has the SPLC lost its way?

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 3:01 PM

“The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public…”

Trump legal team backing away from Comey complaint?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 2:31 PM


Time to get up and go to work, sir

CNN gets glum, defensive after resignations

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 1:01 PM

“If Jeff lit himself on fire, it wouldn’t appease the pro-Trump media.”

Hmmm: FBI probing Russia-based anti-virus firm?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 12:31 PM

“I wouldn’t put their stuff on my computer if you paid me.”

He works hard for the money…

It’s not a slippery slope. It’s a freaking avalanche.


Showdown: Sarah Palin vs the New York Times

Jazz Shaw Jun 28, 2017 9:21 AM


Credit where creditor’s due?

More flash than bang, but a very bad sign

“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”