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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gruesome Greyhound Bus Tragedy Given Dubious Honor…

posted by on August 7 at 14:39 PM

..of being exploited by Fred Phelps and PETA on the same day.

From the Edmonton Sun:

A fundamentalist church group from the U.S. has announced it plans to picket the funeral of [Greyhound bus victim] Tim McLean Jr. in Winnipeg, declaring, “God is punishing Canada.” Led by pastor Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas issued a release saying they would picket McLean’s funeral this weekend.

Phelps’ daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said about seven church members are expected to come to Winnipeg. “What we’re doing is trying to connect dots,” Phelps-Roper told Sun Media last night. “We’re trying to get you to see that your rebellion against the standards of God, your disobedience to the commandments—your idols, your false gods, your filthy ways have brought wrath upon your head.”

And from the CBC:

An animal rights group has posted an ad on its website comparing the recent stabbing and decapitation of a young Winnipeg man to how humans kill animals for food. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the advertisement is meant to make people understand how animals suffer when they are killed in slaughterhouses. The group posted the imageless advertisement on its blog site Wednesday.

“PETA’s ad…is meant to spur people to think about the terror and pain experienced by animals who are raised and killed for food. The group aims to demonstrate that animals — just like humans — are made of flesh, blood, and bone and deserve protection from needless killing,” said a statement on PETA’s website.

Gotta love the tragedy vultures (though, it must be said, PETA is 800,000 times less repugnant than anything Phelps.)

RSS icon Comments


But...why? For being Canadian?

Posted by The White Blackula | August 7, 2008 2:44 PM

Please tell me that there are some sort of border laws to keep this from happening.

The Hell's Angels usually run interference on these pickets, don't they?

Posted by Jen | August 7, 2008 2:45 PM

Meanwhile, the /b/ trolls at 4chan (as publicized in last week's NYT Magazine) are going after McLean (actually, his family) for being a juggalo.

And I just realized Fred Phelps' family is at core simply an organized gang of trolls. But without anonymity and with much better PR skills.

Posted by Eric F | August 7, 2008 2:51 PM

though, it must be said, PETA is 800,000 times less repugnant than anything Phelps.

uhhhh, I think PETA wins on the crazy scale.

Posted by Scott | August 7, 2008 2:53 PM

Not just for being Canadian, but for doing their protests without clothes on.

It goes back to our proud Canadian protests by various immigrant and native groups, when doffing clothes in a place where it can get a tad nippy indicated severe displeasure - and got immediate media attention.

Phelps, luckily, keeps his clothes on - the guy is rather under-endowed, from what I hear.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 7, 2008 2:56 PM

PETA still sucks. Let 'em grow their own goddamn food.

Posted by P to the J | August 7, 2008 2:58 PM

Sensational opportunists.... the lot of them.

Posted by Non | August 7, 2008 3:01 PM

You know, some day Phelps is going to die. When that day comes, I'm for organizing the biggest group we can and all go protest his funeral. We could BBQ. Who's with me?

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | August 7, 2008 3:12 PM

Count me in, Matt -- excellent notion!

Posted by rlv | August 7, 2008 3:16 PM

I imagine the terror and pain animals experience is exactly like that unfortunate stabbing victim. PETA is wrong about this how?

Posted by elenchos | August 7, 2008 3:19 PM

My only hope is that this Phelps loon will be decapitated himself on the journey up to Canada. What a freaking disgrace this guy is. God, please god, I know I don't believe in you, but I beg of thee, strike this bastard Phelps down!

Posted by tco | August 7, 2008 3:28 PM

I'm pretty sure Phelps will get turned around at Winnipeg and sent back to the states.

Posted by Little Red Ryan Hood | August 7, 2008 3:32 PM

Since, IIRC, Phelps has an arrest record, the Canadians could bar him entry.

They could also probably bar him entry based on his hate speech, as their hate speech law is more restrictive than those in the US.

Posted by fghj | August 7, 2008 3:37 PM

PeTA needs to be fed to animals. Teach them something about irony.

Posted by Sirkowski | August 7, 2008 3:37 PM

PETA ain't better than michael phelps, but i don't think that's what you meant.

Posted by Cook | August 7, 2008 3:41 PM

Phelps and PETA are both horrifying attention whores. It's easy to call Phelps worse because he hates on the gays with such passion, but until he has even passive involvement with terrorist actions against the gays (note: PETA's violence against omnivores/pet owners/other perpetrators of "animal cruelty"), you can't really give PETA the moral high ground.

Posted by Nick | August 7, 2008 3:42 PM

In unrelated news, a bear was shot in Coquitlam BC for wearing fur.

PETA could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 7, 2008 3:51 PM

See? Nobody can give a good reason why PETA is wrong. They just make you all lose your temper.

I think it's jealousy for how successful they were in making everyone stop wearing fur. When was the last time you and your pet cause changed an entire civilization's behavior? Never? Kind of rankles, don't it?

Stop being so envious and give them credit.

Posted by elenchos | August 7, 2008 3:55 PM

@18 There are lots of good examples of why PETA is wrong. they use assault as terrorism and PETA people have assaulted folks for wearing fur. PETA has supported the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) a terrorist organization as well. Also, I know two people who *bought* fur coats because of PETA. They were at the opera here in Seattle and were berated in the lobby by a woman wearing a PETA button for wearing *fake* fur. It seems wearing the fake stuff glorifies animal pelt wearing. They made a pact to buy good fur coats since if you are going to be abused anyway you might as well do it in style. One bought mink, the other a lovely chinchilla scarf.

Posted by inkweary | August 7, 2008 4:10 PM

Hm, let's see:

Cow getting it through the noggin with a pneumatic bolt-gun = instant death.

Canadian getting stabbed 40-50 times = long, excrutiatingly painful death.

Any other questions?

Posted by COMTE | August 7, 2008 4:13 PM

Did you know that small humans are quite tasty, especially when your own young are starving to death thanks to melting ice caps reducing your hunting range?

Remember: Humans. The other other white meat. Just unwrap the outer shell and enjoy!

This message has been brought to you with the assistance of the Canadian Wildlife Defense Fund and a sizeable contribution from the Soros Fund

Posted by Polar Bear Liberation Army | August 7, 2008 4:14 PM

I think Phelps is a closeted drama queen.

Posted by scott in chi-town | August 7, 2008 4:19 PM

the Hells Angels used to run interference, but now there are questions about their reliability against christians: what if the set free soldiers show up again?

elenchos, doing one good thing does not outweigh doing numerous bad things.

i think much of the outrage against peta is rooted in a sort of jealousy. not, however, that they have been successful in the fight against fur. rather, that they have portrayed themselves as one thing, when they are something else.

people respond as jilted lovers to a new significant other -- if you knew what i knew you wouldn't be so in love...

Posted by infrequent | August 7, 2008 4:25 PM


I guess the reason I haven't been seeing all these people in fur for the last 20 years is that I'm living under a rock. Or something. How many people reading your comment can remember the last time they saw someone in fur, do you think? Honestly.


It is not at all true that slaughterhouses all operate in that sanitized PR scenario you paint. What really goes on is not something people want to think about. Hence PETA's attention whoring, btw. Nobody begs to be shown the ugly truth.

Posted by elenchos | August 7, 2008 4:25 PM

I hope the Phelps clan and the PETA clan travel to Canada by Greyhound.

Posted by elswinger | August 7, 2008 4:28 PM

Infrequent, the Hells Angels never did anything for anybody but themselves. The one's at the funerals are called Patriot Guard Riders, and anyone who follows the rules can join (no colors allowed).

The other thing about PETA is that they constantly have urban legends attached to them. You hear of some horrible think that "PETA said" and when you check it out, you find out it was a lie. Killing Knut the polar bear cub, for example. PETA is the group a lot of people love to hate. Gets under their skin and causes a strong reaction. As intended.

Posted by elenchos | August 7, 2008 4:32 PM
I think it's jealousy for how successful they were in making everyone stop wearing fur. When was the last time you and your pet cause changed an entire civilization's behavior? Never? Kind of rankles, don't it?

By this same reasoning, everybody must be jealous of Al Queda and their fellow militant Islamists for getting everybody to stop publishing books that are critical of their prophet. When was the last time your protests convinced everybody to back down or risk your wrath? Never? Kinda rankles, don't it?

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 7, 2008 4:34 PM

What I think is funny is this biblical standard they keep alluding to. Gruesome things have happened all throughout the history of mankind, whether we acknowledged homosexuals or not.

And what a lame punishment, if we talking Biblical judgement: One poor kid gets beheaded. Back in the day, God would have destroyed a city, or sent locusts or something. He must be slipping in his old age.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | August 7, 2008 4:40 PM

"Sanitized PR scenario"? That's a pretty looooooong stretch, considering my rather terse reference to the manner in which the cow is killed, and to nothing else.

Personally, I think people SHOULD make at least one visit to a typical slaughterhouse; anyone who can't handle those conditions is probably too much of a wimp to be able to digest a high animal protein diet in the first place.

Posted by COMTE | August 7, 2008 4:46 PM

#10, a human head wont get me a delicious 1 dollar double cheeseburger.

Posted by Mike Schank | August 7, 2008 4:48 PM

Urban legends?

FEB. 28, 1992
East Lansing, Mich.
Rod Coronado and other ALF members set a $1.2 million fire at Michigan State University's mink research facility. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) donated $42,000 toward Coronado's defense, but he was imprisoned anyway and not released until 2001.

Southern Poverty Law Center

Posted by Sirkowski | August 7, 2008 6:31 PM

OK, If god is punishing Canada by sending a guy to stab, cut of his head, gut him, cannibalize him and stuff parts of him in a ziplock, then what kind of loving god is that and why would anyone want to follow him.

Religious fanatics like this Phelps guy are disgusting misled slobs.

Posted by -B- | August 7, 2008 7:08 PM

Hmm...some guy gets brutally murdered on a bus outside Winnipeg and God is punishing Canada for allowing gay marriage. Meanwhile, the red states get hit by tornadoes and floods destroying the homes of thousands. I think God needs to learn how to aim better.

Posted by RainMan | August 7, 2008 7:23 PM

@26: what about a pretty large selection of mainstream hip-hop and R&B stars? It's pretty visible these days, so if that's the one thing PETA's done...

Posted by Abby | August 7, 2008 8:32 PM

Finally, something about I can disagree with elenchos vehemently. It took long enough.

Posted by Big Sven | August 7, 2008 9:00 PM


I see people wearing fur coats every winter since I moved to Ontario.

Perhaps the fact that you haven't seen any lately has less to do with PETA and more to do with the fact that you live in fucking SEATTLE

Posted by Diane | August 8, 2008 5:24 AM

@18 - This is why I hate Peta:

Oh, and I was a vegetarian for seven years, and hated them and most vegetarians the whole time.

Posted by meat is murder, tasty tasty murder | August 8, 2008 7:40 AM

Grew up on a farm. Killed things. Ellen, I've seen it, honey. PETA also protests family farms that are trying to make a living. I hate feedlots and factory farming, but picking on small farms raising animals is crappy. If they really wanted to make a statement, they should go after ConAgra. THEN maybe I would listen to what they have to say. Otherwise, their screeching histrionics (sorry ECB) have gotten old.

Posted by P to the J | August 8, 2008 7:46 AM

I guess it doesn't occur to some folks they are their own worst enemies.

Posted by Vince | August 8, 2008 7:58 AM

I think God is punishing Canada for saying 'ay' all the time, and pronouncing normal words like 'about' in a blashphemous way that goes against everything natural in the world. Go team Phelps!!

Posted by freshnycman | August 8, 2008 9:33 AM

I love the bit about the rappers in fur coats. We're all going to buy fur coats so we can be like a rapper in a video. We can wear our fur coats in our gold plated Hummers as we go out gay bashing. The fur industry is saved!

For all your irrational hate, PETA is winning. Go hop in your car, run out and eat nine hamburgers, and then? Then, nothing. You will get fatter and PETA will still win in the end.

Posted by elenchos | August 8, 2008 9:47 AM

I'll give PETA credit for a noble cause, but on this occasion they are 800,000 times more repugnant than a Greyhound passenger who beheads and snacks on his seatmate.

At least he is insane (and/or sent by God to punish Canada). What's PETA's excuse?

Posted by Man in the Street | August 8, 2008 9:58 AM

I'm a vegetarian and I hate PETA.

I wouldn't consider an organization that stirs up so much vitriol that people will actually go out of their way to do the opposite of what that organization wants successful.

Actually, that could be useful...

Posted by Jen | August 8, 2008 10:00 AM

elenchos- you asked "How many people reading your comment can remember the last time they saw someone in fur, do you think?" and I answered- recently. So it hasn't been a complete and total disavowal of fur in Western culture, as it's still something that's being worn in a very visible segment of the population as a status symbol. If the reason for PETA being great is that they stopped everyone from wearing fur, well, they didn't.

Posted by Abby | August 8, 2008 10:06 AM

Residents rallied yesterday to protect the family of a young man murdered on a Greyhound bus last week from a posse of radical religious protesters planning to portray Tim McLean's death as God's wrath. Earlier this week, the Westboro Baptist Church -- an organization branded as a hate group and infamous for protesting the funerals of slain U. S. soldiers -- announced it would picket Mr. McLean's funeral to let Canadians know that his decapitation was God's response to Canadian policies enabling abortion, homosexuality and adultery. But Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of the church's founder, Fred Phelps, said a small group of protesters was stopped at the Canada-U.S. border yesterday afternoon. "They won't let us in, but we have a group that will cross in another spot," she said. "They'll have to strip search everyone who crosses that border or they won't know who we are. They'll have to see the WBC [Westboro Baptist Church] tattoo on our butts." The resistance to the planned funeral protest started on Facebook yesterday morning when Jim Cotton, a resident of Winnipeg Beach, launched a page asking city residents to help protect Mr. McLean's funeral. Rodney Taylor, an Ottawa resident, found the page and pitched in. Mr. Taylor phoned the Prime Minister's Office, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day's office and border services, asking them to keep the Westboro group out of the country. Mr. Taylor's plan worked. Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin said his office was flooded with phone calls yesterday from angry Winnipeggers… According to Mr. Martin, Mr. Day's office sent an alert to border patrol to "look out" for people with signs and pamphlets that fit the hateful messages that the church promotes and to keep them out of the country. "In the opinion of his office, coming up here with the message they're articulating constitutes hate speech," Mr. Martin said.

Posted by Breklor | August 8, 2008 10:07 AM

I'm looking forward to seeing the news coverage of the Mounties -- on horseback and dressed in those great red jackets -- using Canadian-seal clubs to beat the crap out of the people from WBC as they try to cross the border.

Talk about "insane;" Phelps and his followers are even sicker than the Greyhound murderer.

Posted by Youngblood | August 8, 2008 10:56 AM

it must be said, PETA is 800,000 times less repugnant than anything Phelps

Infinity divided by 800,000 is still infinity.

Posted by Gomez | August 8, 2008 11:30 AM


Posted by Sabado Gigante | August 8, 2008 11:37 AM

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