Rep. Tim Murphy and Right Wing Virtue Signalling

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) reminds us that Republicans and right wingers can virtue signal with the best of them. Murphy is a solidly pro-life Republican who urged a woman with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion (emphasis added),

A text message sent in January to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy by a woman with whom he had an extra-marital relationship took him to task for an anti-abortion statement posted on Facebook from his office’s public account.

“And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh with whom the congressman admitted last month to having a relationship, wrote to Mr. Murphy on Jan. 25, in the midst of an unfounded pregnancy scare.

A text from Mr. Murphy’s cell phone number that same day in response says, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”

. . .

It was early this year that the text exchange over abortion was prompted by a Jan. 24 Facebook post by Mr. Murphy: “The United States is one of just seven countries worldwide that permits elective abortion more than halfway through pregnancy (beyond 20 weeks). It is a tragic shame that America is leading the world in discarding and disregarding the most vulnerable,” he wrote.

It’s interesting that one of the criticism’s of the term “virtue signaling” as commonly used is that it is uncharitable, citing Sam Bowman as writing,

The other problem with the term is that it assumes your opponents are disingenuous. This is of course very common but it is probably the single worst thing about political debate. It comes from an underlying assumption that the world is straightforward and your views are obviously correct.

An alternative analysis would be that much political debate in the United States is disingenous and the arguments therein too often are mere window dressings and facades.

Just ask Tim Murphy.

Pennsylvania Democrats Hit By Ransomware Attack

NBC News reports that Pennsylvania State Senate Democrats have had been locked out of their computer network by a ransomware attack,

The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have been hit by a ransomware attack that has locked senators and employees out of their computer network since the early morning hours of Friday, state officials told NBC News.

In a statement, Sen. Jay Costa, the Democratic leader, said the Democrats were working with law enforcement agencies and Microsoft to resolve the problem. He did not say what payment has been demanded to unlock the data, or whether the attackers had suggested any political motive.

. . .

The Democratic senators in the state capital of Harrisburg are on their own computer network and there is no indication that other state agencies of the Republicans have been affected, said a state official who declined to be identified. The official said the Democrats had no idea whether they were targeted for any specific reason.

Idiot Activists Vandalize Wrong House

As has been mentioned a few times on this site, animal rights activist Janice Angelillo and Nicholas Cooney were arrested in July after being caught prowling around outside a Hoffman-LaRoche facility at 4 a.m. They both had white paint on their clothes and hands — the same color paint used earlier in the morning to vandalize another site with anti-Hoffman-LaRoche slogans.

The two were also charged with spray painting the home and car of a New Jersey man with “scum,” “puppy killers” and “blood money.” Apparently Angelillo and Cooney believed that the man who owns the car and home was an executive at Huntingdon Life Sciences.

It turns out, however, that the man is simply a real estate agent who has a name very similar to an executive who works at HLS.

This is why activists regularly brag about their high levels of compassion rather than high levels of intelligence.


Police: Animal Activists Target Wrong Man.

Janice Angelillo Can’t Imagine Why Police Are Targeting Her

On July 21 at 4 a.m., animal rights activists Janice Angelillo and Nicholas Cooney were arrested outside a Hoffman-LaRoche facility in New Jersey. When she was arrested, police say the hands and clothing of both activists was stained with the same color spray paint has had been used in an earlier act of anti-Hoffman-LaRoche vandalism that morning.

Police subsequently deployed a 15-officer team to raid Angelillo’s residence. The officers removed a computer and other items from the residence.

In Angelillo’s world, however, she’s not under scrutiny because of the spray paint incident — just the latest in a long series of arrests for Angelillo — but rather she’s being persecuted for her beliefs. Angelillo told the Home News Tribune,

I feel like I’m being targeted for my political beliefs because I’m rather vocal and a public advocate for animal rights. It feels almost like harassment. I really don’t understand why they sent in a big SWAT team and raided my house all because I was brought up on misdemeanor charges. I think it was kind of outrageous.

Whereas prowling around Hoffman-LaRoche at 4 a.m. in the morning with the intent to commit acts of vandalism is simply a normal morning activity for Angelillo.

Angelillo and Cooney have been charged with giving fake identities to police, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. They will also be charged with criminal mischief for an act of vandalism that occurred in Long Beach, New Jersey, within 24 hours of the July 21st arrest.

The raid on Angelillo’s residence is clearly based on suspicions that Angelillo and/or Cooney have been involved with or have information about other animal rights related crimes committed in Pennsylvania, where Cooney lives.

Police also appear to be investigating whether Angelillo’s husband Ted Nebus might be involved in any acts of vandalism. A police spokesman told the Home News Tribune,

Our first encounter with him [Nebus] was when we executed a search warrant at the house (on Saturday). Prior to that, he’s not been a suspect, although he may become a suspect based on our examination of the evidence that we recovered from the house.


Animal activist questions count. Cheryl Sarfaty, Home News Tribune, July 28, 2005.

New Jersey SHAC Activists Arrested

New Jersey police recently arrested animal rights activists Janice Angelillo and Nicholas Cooney and searched Angelillo’s residence and automobile in connection with a number of criminal acts.

Angelillo and Cooney were arrested around 4 a.m. July 21st outside a Hoffman-LaRoche facility. They allegedly gave officers fake identification after being stopped on foot outside the facility.

According to Gannett,

Just before the Thursday arrest, police had been alerted to an incident in nearby Bloomfield in which derogatory slogans toward Hoffman-LaRoche were spray-painted on a white fence in the same color paint found on the hands and clothing of Angelillo and Philadelphia resident Nicholas Cooney, said Capt. Steve Serrao, assistant director for operations of the state Office of Counter Terrorism.

After the arrest, police obtained a search warrant for Angelillo’s black Subaru which was parked nearby. Police said that evidence obtained from the car implicated Angelillo and Cooney in another incident that occurred within 24 hours of their arrests.

Police also raided the residence of Angelillo, who lives with fellow animal rights activist Ted Nebus. They removed a computer and animal rights-related materials from the residence according to the Home News Tribune.

Both Angelillo and Cooney have been arrested numerous times in their protests against very SHAC targets.


Borough couple caught in probe. Arielle Levin Becker, Home News Tribune, July 25, 2005.

Pennsylvania House Bill 213 – Eco-Terrorism

PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 215, 1072                PRINTER'S NO. 1177





* No. 213 * * Session of 2005 *







1 Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and 2 Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated 3 Statutes, adding an offense and a civil action relating to 4 ecoterrorism.

5 The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 6 hereby enacts as follows: 7 Section 1. Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated 8 Statutes is amended by adding a section to read: 9 § 3311. Ecoterrorism. 10 (a) General rule.--A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the 11 person commits an offense against property intending to do any 12 of the following: 13 (1) Intimidate or coerce an individual lawfully: 14 (i) participating in an activity involving animals 15 or an activity involving natural resources; or 16 (ii) using an animal or natural resource facility. 17 (2) Prevent or obstruct an individual from lawfully:


1 (i) participating in an activity involving animals 2 or an activity involving natural resources; or 3 (ii) using an animal or natural resource facility. 4 (b) Grading and penalty.-- 5 (1) If the offense against property is a summary 6 offense, an offense under this section shall be classified as 7 a misdemeanor of the third degree. 8 (2) If the offense against property is a misdemeanor or 9 a felony of the third or second degree, an offense under this 10 section shall be classified one degree higher than the 11 classification of the offense against property specified in 12 section 106 (relating to classes of offenses). 13 (3) If the offense against property is a felony of the 14 first degree, a person convicted of an offense under this 15 section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment fixed by 16 the court at not more than 40 years and may be sentenced to 17 pay a fine of not more than $100,000. 18 (c) Restitution; costs and fees.--Any person convicted of 19 violating this section shall, in addition to any other penalty 20 imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of any damaged property, 21 which resulted from the violation, restitution, attorney fees 22 and court costs. Restitution shall be in an amount up to triple 23 the value of the property damages incurred as a result of the 24 offense against property. In ordering restitution pursuant to 25 this subsection, the court shall consider as part of the value 26 of the damaged property the market value of the property prior 27 to the violation and the production, research, testing, 28 replacement and development costs directly related to the 29 property that was the subject of the specified offense. 30 (C.1) IMMUNITY.--A PERSON WHO EXERCISES THE RIGHT OF <-- 20050H0213B1177 - 2 -


1 PETITION OR FREE SPEECH UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION OR 2 THE CONSTITUTION OF PENNSYLVANIA ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR WITH THE 3 PERMISSION OF THE LANDOWNER WHERE THE PERSON IS PEACEABLY 4 DEMONSTRATING OR PEACEABLY PURSUING HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS 5 SHALL BE IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION FOR THESE ACTIONS UNDER THIS 6 SECTION OR FROM CIVIL LIABILITY UNDER 42 PA.C.S. § 8317 7 (RELATING TO ECOTERRORISM). 8 (d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following 9 words as phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this 10 subsection: 11 "Activity involving animals." A lawful activity involving 12 the use of animals or animal parts, including any of the 13 following: 14 (1) Activities authorized under 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to 15 fish) and 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game). 16 (2) Activities authorized under the act of December 7, 17 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), known as the Dog Law. 18 (3) Food production, processing and preparation. 19 (4) Clothing manufacturing and distribution. 20 (5) Entertainment and recreation. 21 (6) Research, teaching and testing. 22 (7) Agricultural activity and farming as defined in 23 section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism). 24 "Activity involving natural resources." A lawful activity 25 involving the use of a natural resource with an economic value, 26 including any of the following: 27 (1) Mining, foresting, harvesting or processing natural 28 resources. 29 (2) The sale, loan or lease of products which requires 30 the use of natural resources. 20050H0213B1177 - 3 -


1 "Animal or natural resource facility." A vehicle, building, 2 structure or other premises: 3 (1) where an animal or natural resource is lawfully 4 housed, exhibited or offered for sale; or 5 (2) which is used for scientific purposes involving 6 animals or natural resources, including research, teaching 7 and testing. 8 "Offense against property." An offense under Article C of 9 Part II (relating to offenses against property). 10 Section 2. Title 42 is amended by adding a section to read: 11 § 8317. Ecoterrorism. 12 (a) Civil action and relief.--An individual aggrieved by the 13 offense of ecoterrorism, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3311(a) 14 (relating to ecoterrorism), may in a civil action in any court 15 of competent jurisdiction obtain appropriate relief, including 16 compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigative 17 expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated 18 with the litigation. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of 19 injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining 20 orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may 21 be appropriate under this section. During any period that an 22 action under this section is pending, a court may order the 23 cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint. 24 (b) Valuations.--In awarding damages under this section, a 25 court shall consider the market value of the property prior to 26 damage and production, research, testing, replacement and 27 development costs directly related to the property that has been 28 damaged as part of the value of the property as well as damage 29 to any records, data and data-gathering equipment or devices. 30 (c) Limitations.--Damages recovered under this section shall 20050H0213B1177 - 4 -


1 be limited to triple the market value of the property prior to 2 damage and actual damages involving production, research, 3 testing, replacement and development costs directly related to 4 the property that has been damaged. 5 Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.